Moreover, the law requires that hospices, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) provide their patients with written information on health care advance directives.
An advance directive is a written (but can be oral) statement about how a person wants their medical decisions made if they are to become unable to make decisions for themselves, or it can state their desire to make an anatomical donation upon their death. This written document is often made as part of one's estate planning, which should be done while one is healthy. In order for the statement to be effective, it must be witnessed by two individuals, and at least one of the them may not be a spouse or blood relative.
The three types of advance directives are as follows:
1. A Living Will;
2. Health Care Surrogate Designation; and
3. An Anatomical Donation.
You may choose any one of these advance directives or a combination thereof. However, you are not required to have an advance directive completed. Consequently, if you do not have one in place, decisions concerning your health may be determined by your spouse, adult child, parent, adult sibling, adult relative or friend, or a court-appointed guardian, all of which may not be aware of your wishes. Once you have completed an advance directive, it can be modified or cancelled at any time by creating a new directive, physically destroying the current directive, or by making an oral statement. Furthermore, if you have properly completed an advance directive in another state while adhering with those laws, it will be honored in Florida. Health Care Advance Directives are essential to everyone's estate planning. Please give me a call if you are interested in learning more about advance directives or their substitutes.