An advanced health directive or just an advanced directive is an important part of end of life planning in Florida. It’s crucial for establishing what your wishes are in terms of medical needs. It doesn’t take much time to set up this type of a document, and it can protect you and your choices as well as make the process for your care easier for your family.
Importance of an advanced directive
An advanced directive lays out the specific kinds of medical care that you want if you become incapacitated. Without an AD, it would be up to a family member or the doctor to make a decision about what to do, and that might not align with what you want. An AD has two components: a document called a living will that describes what you want, and a document declaring one person to be your health care proxy, who makes decisions for you.
Both parts of an AD are necessary to cover all of the range of outcomes. A basic AD is easy to set up because the forms are generic, but a more specific and complex health care directive can be rolled into broader estate planning. This does not need to be limited to older people, because anyone might need care and not expect it.
Having both elements to an advanced directive is important to ensure that if you ever experience a medical event that could incapacitate you, the people around you will know what your wishes are and understand what to do. It takes the burden off of your family members to try to decide what to do in a difficult moment.