Guarantees When You Do NOT Have A Florida Advance Directive
Even if you have not yet made arrangements for incapacity as part of your estate plan, you are probably aware that the best tool for handling health care matters is an advance directive. Florida law empowers you to create a Designation of Health Care Surrogate for this purpose. Despite the fancy legal terminology, this document accomplishes a few basic goals. You can name a person to act as your agent for purposes of making health care decisions, include instructions about medical situations, and express your wishes regarding a living will.
The importance of achieving these goals cannot be understated, yet there are some who still hesitate to move forward with a health care designation. The reasons for not taking action vary, but most could easily be dispelled by consulting with a Dade City advance directives lawyer. As a way to illustrate the downsides, take a look at a few guarantees if you do not prepare for incapacity through your estate plan.
- A lawsuit is required for health care decision-making. When you do not name someone to address your medical needs, there is no one to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. To fill the void, your loved ones will need to go through guardianship proceedings and get a judge’s permission to make decisions.
- Time is a factor. The guardianship process can take several weeks, from filing the petition to getting a court date to obtaining the court’s order appointing a guardian. Proceedings can take even longer if more than one person seeks guardianship, as the court will need to hold a hearing on who to appoint with competing petitions.
- The legal process is costly. There are filing fees and other costs involved with guardianship cases, and you will also need to retain an attorney to assist with the proceedings. There will be legal fees associated with:
- Preparing and filing the guardianship petition;
- Appearing in court to request the judge approve the guardianship petition;
- Attending a contested hearing if there are competing petitions;
- Ongoing court appearances and tasks; and
- Wrapping up the guardianship case when the ward passes away or regains capacity.
- You do not have a say about medical treatment and life-sustaining care. With an advance directive, you can provide directions and express your wishes regarding medical care. This document includes provisions regarding a living will, so you can state whether you want treatment to keep you alive if you have a terminal condition or are in a vegetative state.
- There are substantial hassles for loved ones. From the above, you can see that your family and loved ones will face considerable costs and challenges if you do not prepare an advance directive.
A Florida Advance Directives Attorney Can Assist with Document Preparation
There may not be guarantees in preventing incapacity, but you can prepare yourself and your family with the right planning. To learn more about advance directives, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City, FL. You can call 352-567-0055 or visit our website to set up a consultation with an estate planning lawyer.