When it comes to long term care planning, it is always important to ensure that an individual’s medical wishes will be carried out, even if the person becomes too incapacitated to make his or her wishes known. For this reason, it is important to consider the following things in terms of medical preparations as a part of the long term care planning process.
First and foremost, remember to set up a living will. Everyone — especially elderly individuals — should set up a medical directive, also known as a living will. This document will offer clear instructions regarding the care of the individual it is drafted for, in the event that the person is incapacitated.
Second, a health care agent should be appointed. The health care agent will make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person in the event that an issue arises that is not covered under the living will. This person cannot override anything in the living will, but he or she can make decisions on items that are not referenced in the document.
Third, a Do Not Resuscitate order might be appropriate, depending on the estate planner’s wishes. This will prevent life-saving measures from being taken, like CPR, in the event of a serious heart attack. The details of a Do Not Resuscitate order may vary by individual.
Fourth, the unfortunate reality of life is that long term care will eventually come to an end and the estate planner will die. Therefore, it is important for individuals to spell out their wishes for their remains. Some individuals have strong opinions about the manner in which they shall be laid to rest. It is important to put these wishes in writing to ensure that they will be carried out.
All of these long term care planning issues and more can be organized by an experienced Florida estate planning attorney.
Source: Findlaw, “Caring for aging parents,” accessed July 24, 2015