Law Office of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.
Law Office of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.

Advanced Health Directives vs. Living Wills in Florida

Fort Lauderdale Living Will Attorney

Help from a Fort Lauderdale Living Will Attorney

Both living wills and advance healthcare directives are important components of an estate plan in Florida. Before you meet with your Fort Lauderdale living will attorney at the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq., you need to understand the differences between these two estate planning documents and how they work. They are different, and it will likely be best for you to have both in place to ensure you only receive the types of medical treatment you want.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is sometimes referred to as a healthcare directive, but it is different than an advance healthcare directive. It is not included as part of your will but instead is a separate document in which you list your preferences about the types of treatment you want to receive or want to decline if you are near the end of your life. Your living will might include your instructions for the following types of medical care:

  • Whether you want assisted breathing
  • Whether you want to be resuscitated
  • Whether you want to be fed through a tube
  • Whether you want any other life-prolonging treatments

You might also include your philosophical or religious beliefs and how you would like the end of your life to be handled. When you create a living will, it will only be valid if you are no longer able to communicate what you want to happen.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A separate type of document you can use is a healthcare power of attorney. This legal document allows you to grant the authority to act on your behalf to your agent or proxy. This person will be able to make decisions about your healthcare for you when you are incapacitated and no longer able to make decisions for yourself. A healthcare power of attorney will be valid both at the end of your life and whenever you are incapacitated. Your proxy will not be able to make medical decisions for you unless you are incapacitated, however.

What Is an Advance Healthcare Directive?

An advance healthcare directive is a combined document used for healthcare that includes your living will and your healthcare power of attorney. Having an advance healthcare directive helps your loved ones avoid having to go through the probate process if you are incapacitated while also allowing you to have some control over the types of medical care you are willing to receive.

Get Help From Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.

You should contact the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. when you are ready to create your estate plan. Attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. has years of experience helping people create estate plans that meet their needs and protect their rights. To learn more about the help we can offer with your advance healthcare directive, call us at (954) 822-7566 to schedule an appointment.

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