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Florida’s Five Wishes Approach To Planning For Incapacity


The majority of Floridians recognize the importance of creating an estate plan that instructs loved ones on final affairs at death; however, many are unfamiliar with their options for incapacity and end-of-life care. Without proper documentation in place, your loved ones ill equipped  to handle health and well-being decisions if you are unable to do so because of illness or injury. Advance directives are effective in closing this gap, but these documents were a source of confusion until development of the Five Wishes campaign. With its origins in Florida public policy, this approach establishes structure and guidance for individuals, their families, and health care providers in addressing an incapacitated person’s needs and desires.

The Five Wishes is a useful strategy for opening the discussion about your health care choices in an end-of-life situation, but it is important to work with a Pasco County, FL advance directives lawyer regarding the essential documents. You can also review some background information on the Five Wishes concept.

The Five Wishes for End-of Life Issues: The first two items are legal documents that create an advance directive once properly executed, while the others address comfort, care, and final intentions.

#1 The person you want to make health decisions when you cannot. You can ensure this wish comes true by signing a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, i.e., an agent who will make decisions on your behalf.

#2 The type of medical care you do and do not want. This wish refers to your living will, in which you state your position on life-prolonging treatment. You can be specific, such as saying you do or do not want to be removed from life support, nutrition and/or hydration, respiratory support, and other types of care. It is also possible to provide instructions on when or under what circumstances treatment should be offered or withheld. 

#3 Statements regarding your comfort. You may have ideas of what you desire in terms of pain management, personal care, bathing, and other needs. Some individuals also use this wish to provide guidance on hospice care.

 #4 How you want to be treated. If you have specific requests when approaching death, you should include instructions here. For example, you may want a religious official present to conduct last rites or a prayer service. 

#5 What you want surviving loved ones to know. This wish is highly personal, so you can include instructions for burial, cremation, funeral, and other final arrangements. If you want to address any apologies, forgiveness, or other intentions, this is the opportunity to do so. Note that this wish does not replace your will, but you might opt to cover some of the same topics.

Talk to a Florida Advance Directives Attorney About Planning 

Understanding the Five Wishes is useful for framing a discussion about advance directives, but you should rely on experienced legal counsel when it comes to planning and executing documentation. For more information, please contact a Dade City advance directives lawyer at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can set up a consultation by calling 352-567-0055 or visiting our firm website.



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