While much of estate planning involves the distribution of certain assets, a Dunedin estate planning attorney can discuss the importance of healthcare documents. These documents can have a significant impact on your future and well-being.
Your Dunedin estate planning attorney can explain that an advanced directive is a statement that gives certain directions to healthcare providers. The individual giving the instructions is referred to as a “principal.” A Dunedin estate planning lawyer can explain that the most common kinds of advance directives are health care surrogate designations and living wills.
Health Care Surrogates
Additionally, your Dunedin estate planning lawyer can explain that health care surrogates are individuals who are allowed to make decisions on behalf of the principal once the principal is declared to be incapacitated. Additionally, these individuals are given the power to consult with healthcare providers and access medical records to help them make more informed decisions. They also have the authority to give consent on behalf of the principal. Health care surrogates can apply for benefits and access income and asset information for this cause. Your Dunedin estate planning attorney can explain the legal requirements of appointing a health care surrogate. To create a surrogate, the principal must be competent at the time of the designation. Additionally, the principal must sign a document that designates a health care surrogate. If the principal needs someone else to sign the form because he or she is physically incapable, the principal can direct another person to sign for him or her. Two witnesses must be present at the signing, neither of whom can be the health care surrogate. Only one of the two witnesses can be the principal’s spouse or relative.
A living will provides specific directions from the principal regarding important health care matters. The living will applies to when a person has a terminal illness, has an end-stage condition or when the person is in a persistent vegetative state. Directions may pertain to providing life-prolonging procedures, withholding these procedures or withdrawing these procedures.
If you would like more information on this topic, contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474.