There are certain decisions that only you can make about your life. What happens when you no longer have the ability to make those decisions?
The unexpected — or even expected — loss of ability to make decisions could put your loved ones in a painful, confusing position. That is only one of several reasons that you might communicate things ahead of time with advance directives.
Planning in advance
An advance directive might tell people how to make important decisions for you. It also might designate a person to make those decisions. There are three general types in Florida:
- Anatomical donations or organ donor statements
- Living wills
- Healthcare surrogate designations
You might use any or all of these. You might also decide to establish a durable power of attorney, which is a legal instrument that you could write to give people other or more specific decision-making powers.
Maintaining the effectiveness of directives
Estate planning is more of a process than it is a single task to complete. This is because almost everything is subject to change: legal contexts, your wishes and the wishes of your loved ones in regard to participation in the plan.
Specifically, in terms of the legal aspect, new laws might suggest different strategies. While many publicly available forms might have the backing of the court, there is typically no guarantee that they conform with the latest advances.
Circling back to the main purposes of an advance directive, you probably want to make things as easy as possible for those who have to make tough decisions. This typically means prioritizing clarity, communication and enforceability in your estate planning documents.