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The need for a health care directive in one's estate plans

When it comes to end-of-life and estate planning, there are many aspects to consider. The need for a health care directive, for example, is often a question in the minds of those who are consulting with their attorney on such matters. There are many reasons that one may wonder why he or she would need to document his or her wishes for health care. For those in Florida, it is important to have someone who understands the state's laws on the subject.

In many states, for example, medical decisions are made by the spouse or immediate family when a patient is unable to voice his or her desires. Some may feel that they trust their spouse to make these choices and therefore do not need paperwork to show what they would want. But what if the spouse is also unable to share that person's choices? If both spouses were involved in a car wreck or other accident, they may not be able to act as each other's representative.

That is why a health care directive is important. Having it put down on paper what a person's choices would be regarding various medical decisions is vital to making sure that his or her wishes are met. It is also a good idea to assign a health care proxy or a person that can be trusted to make sure that the patient's wants are being fulfilled. In most cases, this person is not from the immediate family and therefore can take some of the burdens of these decisions off of loved ones or act when both spouses are incapable.

For those in Florida who are in the process of deciding their futures, creating a health care directive is a solid choice to make. They may choose to consult with an estate planning attorney who can guide them in the state's laws concerning end-of-life planning. This type of lawyer is knowledgeable on the subject and can advise each client as to what best fits his or her individual needs.

Source: Forbes, "Why You Need A Health Care Proxy And How To Choose One", Debbie Reslock, June 2, 2017

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