Health Care Advance Directives

Health Care Advance Directives Planning in Jacksonville, FL

This group of documents accomplishes a few important goals. First, it tells medical professionals and loved ones who you want to make your health care decisions if you can’t make your own. Second, it preserves your choices regarding what life-prolonging procedures you want if certain crisis situations occur. Third, it establishes who can legally access your private healthcare information. Can you imagine the chaos if a physician, who doesn’t know you or your family members, must figure this out on their own?

Healthcare directives are a critical part of an estate plan, not just for you but also for your family. By planning for a person’s incapacity, these documents relieve family members of the burden of having to make important decisions during a time of emotional stress.

Healthcare directives do this by providing two specific functions: 1. Dictating instructions for healthcare and end-of-life treatment and 2. Appointing a healthcare agent who makes decisions on your client’s behalf, based on your choices. Formally memorializing your wishes is imperative to preserving your desires and avoiding family disagreements. Only you know what’s best for you.

The following issues will be discussed with Healthcare Directives:

  • If you want to have/avoid life support treatment (ventilators, nutrition/hydration)
  • Whether you want to be an organ donor or accept an organ transplantation.
  • Funeral instructions.
  • Matters of religious significance like receiving last rights; and
  • Family dynamics or other concerns.

The last step is to appoint a healthcare agent. While you may choose a close family member or friend, ultimately the appointee should be trustworthy, someone who stays calm under pressure, communicates well with the family, and can advocate on your behalf. Typically, an agent can be given the power to hire or fire healthcare providers, consent or deny recommended medical treatment, authorize pain relief and obtain ancillary services including long-term care placement.

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