Advance Directives Attorney in Ocala, Florida
Losing a loved one is a difficult experience. But there is plenty we can do to ease the pain for our loved ones. In estate planning, an advanced healthcare directive can help your loved ones get through some of the most trying times they will face. And at Michael A. Siefert, P.A., I am here to guide you through these challenging situations. I have the resources, compassion, and knowledge to get you on a path that fits you and your family’s best interests. I proudly serve clients in Ocala and throughout Marion County, Florida.
What Is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive (also known as an advance healthcare directive or a living will) is a document that includes instructions regarding end-of-life decisions. These directives extend to terminal illness, permanent incapacitation, and healthcare instructions. In short, these are emergency decisions that must be made in order to keep you alive.
For instance, your advance directives provide instructions on your wishes if you are on life support following an automobile accident. An advanced directive helps ease the burden on your loved ones by eliminating the need to make difficult end-of-life decisions.
What Decisions Does an Advance Directive Cover?
Here are the types of decisions an advanced directive covers:
Resuscitation, such as the use of CPR. Your advance directives may have specific guidance on when to use CPR (or not).
Your advance directives may restrict the use of mechanical ventilation.
Artificial nutrition guidelines may be an important component. You can determine what artificial nutrition may be provided or not in case of incapacitation.
Comfort care guidelines are common in advance directives. These guidelines indicate what care you wish for near the end of life.
Your advance directive may also include provisions for organ and tissue donation.
Please note that advance directives factor in several issues, such as reducing pain, suffering, and medical costs. Additionally, advance directives provide your representative with legal support to fulfill your wishes.
Who Is the Healthcare Representative?
The healthcare representative is the named person in charge of carrying out your advance directive. This person can be anyone your trust: an attorney, spouse, adult children, siblings, or close friends.
Your healthcare representative is in charge of carrying out your end-of-life wishes. Your representative must make decisions that are in your best interest. So, speaking with your representative to outline your wishes is essential. Your representative must also know how much freedom they have to act in an emergency.
Your advance directives name the healthcare representative, so healthcare professionals can consult them before making end-of-life decisions. At my firm, Michael A. Siefert, P.A., I urge my clients to talk to their healthcare representatives before finalizing advance directives. Also, it is vital to know your health representative is comfortable with the role you have asked them to fulfill.
What Is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive?
Resuscitation techniques such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) are performed to revive people. CPR includes pushing down on a person’s chest, using electric shocks (defibrillation), and drugs. CPR can lead to complications such as broken ribs, bruising, or a collapsed lung. Your advance directives may restrict the use of CPR to avoid injury. For instance, a healthcare professional can administer CPR for a maximum of five minutes. Similarly, your directives may completely restrict the use of defibrillators.
What Are Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)?
Your advance directives can outline life-sustaining or life-support treatment, such as using ventilators. Ventilators are mechanical devices that help you breathe when you cannot breathe on your own. Similarly, artificial nutrition and hydration are key components of life-sustaining treatments.
Most advance directives restrict the use of life support for financial reasons. As such, your advance directives may cap life support based on time or expense. For example, your directives may instruct your representative to end life support after two days or a fixed dollar amount.
Speak with a wise estate planning attorney about you and your family's specific situation to avoid unnecessary issues during these challenging times.
Can You Make Modifications to Your Advance Directives?
Absolutely. Modifying advanced directives may be based on your financial situation, health condition, location, or medical treatments. It is a good rule of thumb to talk to your doctor, loved ones, and estate planning attorney to make modifications to suit you or your family's individual needs.
Advance Directives Attorney Serving Ocala, Florida
At Michael A. Siefert, P.A., I highly encourage my clients in Ocala, Florida, and throughout Marion County to enlist the help of a practiced estate planning attorney. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help people understand their options and make their living will official. I pledge to provide the right legal counsel to the best of my abilities. Don't face these challenges alone. Let me help you protect your loved ones today.