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An advance directive is a valuable estate planning tool

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Estate Planning

Many people have set personal goals for 2024. For some, these goals pertain to health and fitness. Others hope to pursue new careers or resolve lingering debts. Many people in Florida and elsewhere have made the estate planning process a central focus of their goals this year.

Making an estate plan can feel a bit intimidating, especially if an individual is not familiar with the legal documents needed. For example, while most people have a basic understanding of what a last will is, many are clueless when it comes to other documents, such as an advance directive. It is helpful to seek guidance ahead of time to gain a better understanding of the available options.

An advance directive may take effect before death

Certain estate planning documents, such as a last will, take effect when the testator dies. An advance directive, on the other hand, takes effect if the person who signed it becomes incapacitated and is unable to communicate or make decisions. This document typically contains instructions and preferences regarding end-of-life care, such as not wanting to be kept on life support. It can also include a DNR, which is a “do not resuscitate” directive that typically applies when a patient’s heartbeat and breathing stops. An advance directive may include a power of attorney, designating one or more people with authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient.

An advance directive is a valuable estate planning tool for young adults as well as those in their later years. An experienced Florida estate law attorney can provide guidance and recommendations regarding this document and other planning options, such as revocable or irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts and more.
This type of support simplifies the process, so it is less daunting or stressful.