Advance directives are estate planning documents through which you can control the types of health care and treatment you receive if you are ever incapacitated. In Florida there are two main types of advance medical directive: the health care surrogate and the living will. Most people who create an estate plan will create both of these documents.
After making your advance directives in Vero Beach, Florida, there may come a time when you want to change choices you made. Though you will want to speak to your estate planning lawyer about how to do this properly, here’s what you need to know.
Changing your Advance Directives in Florida
Your Living Will
A living will is a document that states the kinds of medical treatments you want to receive if you become incapacitated. Most people who create an estate plan include a living will, but no one is ever obligated to create them.
Though all living wills in the state of Florida have to meet some basic legal requirements, you can be as detailed as you like when you state your medical wishes. It’s best to make your choices after you have consulted with your physician so you can better choose the kinds of healthcare you do or do not wish to receive. A lot of people, for example, create living wills that address the types of care you would want to receive if you are diagnosed with different types of illnesses. Other living wills are much more general.
Anyone who creates a living will can change the document as long as they remain mentally capable. Most people who make changes simply create a new living will that states their new choices.
Your Health Care Surrogate
Unlike a living will, your health care surrogate does not state specific medical choices. Instead, this advance directive lets you choose someone else to represent you and your decisions should you become incapacitated. This person, called your surrogate, will act as you’re stand-in when your doctors need someone to make a medical decision that affects you.
Like your living will, you are never under any obligation to create a health care surrogate in the state of Florida. Also, if you choose to create a health care surrogate, you can change the document whenever you like as long as you remain mentally able to do so.
When people want to change their health care surrogate they usually want to change who they choose as their representatives. This is perfectly acceptable, and you can choose to do this at any time. However, the person you choose must be a capable adult and must be willing to serve in the position. Also, it’s a good idea to include an alternate or backup surrogate in case your first choice cannot serve.