Writing Your Advance Directives

Writing Your Advance Directives

An advance directive is a legal document you fill out to leave behind instructions for the type of medical care you wish to have if something happens and you’re unable to act on your own behalf.  This ensures your family members and doctors will know your wishes for particular situations, and can act according to those wishes even if your illness or injury keeps you from communicating those wishes yourself.

There are a couple main types of advance directives. A living will is used to describe the kinds of treatment you either want or do not want to receive near the end of your life. A medical power of attorney or health care surrogate designation allows you to name a healthcare agent to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to speak for yourself.

Here are a few steps to writing and preparing your advance directives:

  • Be sure the directive is executed with the formalities required by your state’s law.
  • Choose as your healthcare agent someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf and knows what your wishes are ahead of time. This person is often a family member, but does not have to be.
  • Give the copies of the documents to your family, your chosen agent and your doctor. Your attorney will also probably keep copies on file.

For more information about writing advance directives, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.