For adults in Florida, preparing for the future involves more than just financial planning. It’s also about legally documenting your end-of-life wishes. Having Advance Directives in place are essential tools in this process. They ensure that your desires are honored in health, financial, and after-life matters. Here are six key legal documents every Floridian over the age of 18 should have:

1. Durable Power of Attorney

This vital document allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle your financial affairs. This can range from paying bills to managing real estate and investments. It’s effective immediately after you sign it and continues to be valid if you become incapacitated. Choosing a reliable and trustworthy individual is critical since they will have substantial control over your finances.

2. Health Care Surrogate Designation

A Health Care Surrogate Designation lets you appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. This surrogate will act based on your medical preferences, which you should discuss with them in advance. It’s a crucial document for ensuring your health care wishes are followed when you can’t communicate them yourself.

3. Living Will

Your Living Will specifies your wishes regarding life-saving medical treatment if you’re ever unable to express informed consent, particularly in end-of-life situations. This document guides your health care surrogate and medical providers in making decisions that align with your personal values and desires.

4. HIPAA Release

A HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) release form authorizes the person you select to have access to your confidential medical records. In Florida, medical providers are not allowed to share your medical condition, treatments or medication with anyone but you without this form.

5. Last Will and Testament

Your Last Will and Testament is a fundamental estate planning document where you specify how you want your assets distributed after your death. It’s also the document where you can appoint guardians for your minor children. Without a will, Florida’s intestacy laws dictate how your assets are divided, which might not align with your wishes.

6. Designation of Pre-Need Guardian

In Florida, you can designate a person to serve as your legally appointed guardian if your Advance Directives above are not sufficient by the Florida court to authorize that person to make decisions on your behalf. Without this document, your family member would have to petition the court to become your guardian, or short of that, the court may need to appoint a legal guardian for you if you don’t have the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Contact RTRLAW for Help Securing Your Future Today!

Establishing these six documents is a proactive step toward securing your future and ensuring your wishes are respected if you’re incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. They provide clarity and guidance for your loved ones during difficult times and protect your assets and legacy. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is recommended to tailor these documents to your specific needs and circumstances.

For assistance in preparing these important legal documents or for any inquiries about advance directives or estate planning, the elder law attorneys at RTRLAW can provide expert guidance. Contact us today to ensure your future is protected and your wishes are legally documented. For more information and a free no-obligation case review, call or text us toll free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (1-833-447-3787).