When it comes to end-of-life planning, most people are aware of the fact that you can set up a do not resuscitate order for yourself that can block doctors from using some life-saving interventions if your condition declines. But in Florida and other states, you can create a more detailed and specific plan for your care called an advanced directive.
What is an advanced directive?
There are three types of documents that can make up an advanced directive, and you can pick which ones to include. The living will is a list of directions and instructions for what kind of medical care you want and under what conditions. The next is a power of attorney, which signs over legal power to another person in case you become incapacitated. The last is the health care proxy, which designates a person who is in charge of making medical decisions if you are unable to do so.
These are not pleasant to think about, but planning these out and making the documents in advance means you can determine exactly what you want to happen when you are dealing with a medical event. You don’t need all three documents, but you should at least consider them and what you want for each one.
It is better to have these documents in place long before you need them than to need them when you don’t have the capacity to make decisions. You also should take the time to talk to your preferred choices for a power of attorney or health proxy so they understand what you want and are willing to take on the responsibility.