elder in wheelchair

You may have been acting independently for most of your adult life. With this, it may be difficult to think of a time when you are no longer able to make decisions on your own, especially when it comes to your healthcare. However, it is a very possible reality that you must address head-on. This is when a healthcare proxy may be seen as a pivotal component in your estate plan. Follow along to find out the purpose of a healthcare proxy and how a proficient Broward County power of attorney at The Probate Lawyers can help you legally establish one.

What is the purpose of establishing a healthcare proxy?

Unfortunately, the reality is that our health declines as we grow older. Subsequently, our healthcare needs become more prevalent. But at the same time, it may become difficult to make sure that these healthcare needs are met if you no longer have the mental capacity to coherently speak or communicate them to your healthcare team. This essentially explains the purpose of a healthcare proxy.

More specifically, a healthcare proxy (or healthcare power of attorney or healthcare directive) is a legal document in which you may appoint a trusted agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The second part of a healthcare proxy is your living will, which is what your trusted agent will reference should you have an end-stage medical condition with no hope of a significant recovery. With your healthcare proxy and living will, you may be able to express your preferences with the following healthcare decisions:

  • You may be able to express who is allowed to access your medical records.
  • You may be able to express whether you consent to or refuse certain types of treatment.
  • You may be able to express which doctors you wish to treat you, along with which hospital you wish to be treated at.
  • You may be able to express certain end-of-life decisions (i.e., whether you want to be resuscitated, to be given a feeding tube, to be put on a life support machine, etc).

What are the requirements for establishing a healthcare power of attorney in Florida?

You must establish a healthcare proxy that is considered valid and enforceable in the state of Florida. So, you must sign this legal document in the presence of two witnesses; and these two witnesses must provide their signatures, as well. With this, at least one of the witnesses must not be related to you. Unique to most states, you are not required to have your healthcare proxy notarized in Florida. It is worth mentioning that similar rules are set forth for establishing a living will.

With this very meticulous process in mind, you must not wait too long to retain the services of a talented Broward County estate lawyer. So please contact The Probate Lawyers at your earliest possible convenience.