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Directing Your Health Care Wishes Through A Health Care Directive And Living Will

We all have the right to direct how we should be cared for if certain medical conditions or illnesses affect us severely, including whether to choose or refuse medical treatment. To ensure that this right is not lost because of your incapacity, you can designate and direct a person to make health care decisions on your behalf. This written direction is often called a designation of health care surrogate. You may also direct your wishes as to life-prolonging procedures through a living will. These advance health care directives outline your wishes and directions for medical treatment and the procedures you do and do not want to be performed on you, and may include your direction to make anatomical gifts.

At Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison, our board-certified attorney with his experience in wills, trusts and estates can work with you to create health care directives that integrate seamlessly with your estate plan, including durable power of attorney.

The Process Of Creating Health Care Directives And Living Wills

The drafting of advance health care directives to implement your directions and wishes as to your health care is an important part of estate planning. The process of creating an advance health care directive has many steps, including:

  • Sign and witness – A written advance health care directive must be signed and witnessed by two people, who also sign it. Only one of the witnesses may be a spouse or blood relative. The designated health care surrogate cannot act as a witness.
  • Choose a surrogate – Illness is difficult to predict, and you may not be able to anticipate everything that might befall you. It is wise, therefore, to choose a health care surrogate who makes health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. If you have a power of attorney agreement in place, you may want the same person to take on this responsibility.
  • Notify – Make sure your doctor knows you have a health care directive and keep a copy in your home. It is also helpful to have a card with you at all times that lets others know you have a directive and identifies your surrogate.

Meet With An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today To Establish Your Advance Health Care Directive

For expert legal advice on setting up advance health care directives including a designation of health care surrogate and living will, contact our board specialist attorney in wills, trusts and estates at Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison today. Call us at 941-366-3282 or contact us online to get started. Our office is conveniently located on the corner of Main Street and Orange Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.