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How estate planning can grant you peace of mind about health care - IV

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing discussion of how advanced directives -- living wills, health care surrogate designations and anatomical donations -- provide much-needed clarity for those family members facing the sudden incapacity of a loved one.

To recap, a living will outlines the circumstances in which you want physicians to provide, withhold or withdraw health care, a health care surrogate designation grants a named party the power to make medical decisions in the event of incapacity, and a anatomical donation is simply a wish that your body or certain organs/tissue be donated to science.

Once a person has gone through the process of executing an advanced directive, it's important for them to make sure that it is readily available should the unimaginable occur.

To that end, experts advise providing a copy of the documents to interested parties, including family members, your treating physician and your attorney. Furthermore, they suggest carrying a card or note in a purse or wallet indicating that you have an advance directive and outlining its location, as this will provide emergency responders with the necessary guidance.

It's important for anyone who executes an advanced directive to understand that they are legally permitted to change their mind concerning their designations at any time.

While these changes can be made orally or via the destruction of the document, experts indicate that the best course of action is more than likely setting forth the changes in writing, complete with a signature and date, or by simply executing a new document.

Lastly, it's important to remember that these changes should be communicated and/or provided to the aforementioned interested parties.     

If you have any questions or concerns relating to the execution of advanced directives here in Florida, please consider sitting down with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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