How do you know if you have the right health care decision maker in your Florida estate plan? Why is that an important question?  Because if you become incapacitated or ill, your health care decision maker will have the crucial role of making medical decisions on your behalf.  In fact, your health care decision maker should be able to act as you and make the decisions you would, not substitute their judgment for yours.


You need to be aware that your health care decision maker plays an important role in your Florida estate plan. But how do you find the right person and where can you find guidance on what to consider when it comes to ensuring you have the right health care decision maker in place? We have some thoughtful questions we would like to share with you right here in our blog.


  1. Are you confident that your health care decision maker understands the role? Be sure that your health care decision maker knows that they are responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf, according to your wishes and best interests. They should be capable of understanding and communicating your healthcare preferences, treatment options, and potential outcomes. You need to discuss your values, beliefs, and medical preferences with the person you choose as your health care decision maker. If they are uncomfortable making any of these decisions for you, they will not be the right person to serve in this role.


  1. Are you confident that you can trust the person you have chosen? You should absolutely trust your health care decision maker. They should have a clear understanding of your values, beliefs, and priorities when it comes to medical care. Open and ongoing communication is vital, as they may need to make difficult decisions in challenging circumstances. Be sure that your chosen individual is comfortable advocating for your wishes and can communicate effectively with healthcare providers.


  1. Are you confident that your Florida health care planning documents meet your state legal requirements? Be aware that different jurisdictions have specific legal requirements regarding health care decision makers. When you work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, he is going to be familiar with the laws of the state of Florida to ensure compliance. If you plan to move or want to use these documents in another state it is critical that you meet with your attorney who can provide you with the guidance you need to ensure your wishes can be honored in a crisis. 


  1. Did you know that availability and proximity do matter? Be sure to carefully consider the availability and proximity of your chosen health care decision maker. It would be preferable for your health care decision maker to be easily accessible and able to respond promptly in the event of a medical emergency or the need for important healthcare decisions. If your designated decision maker is unable to fulfill this role due to distance, health concerns, or other factors, you may need to consider an alternative or appoint a secondary or tertiary decision maker.


  1. Do you have a backup decision maker? Plan now to designate a backup health care decision maker in case your primary choice is unable or unwilling to fulfill the role when the need arises. That way there is always someone available to make important medical decisions on your behalf. With the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney, discuss this arrangement with both the primary and backup decision makers to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities.


Be mindful that the choice of a health care decision maker is highly personal. It is crucial to consider the specific needs of your situation and select someone you trust to make decisions aligned with your values and wishes. Regularly reviewing and updating your Florida estate plan, including the designation of your health care decision maker, can help ensure that your wishes are respected in times of medical incapacity.


We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We know you may have questions about this, and many other, issues. At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.