Protect Your Rights

We Can Help you Protect Your Rights

For those of us who make our own decisions every day, it is hard to imagine what would happen if we became too sick or disabled to make some of life’s most important decisions.

Don’t wait for a crisis to put your health, financial and legal affairs in order. If planning is accomplished early, and then reviewed periodically, the entire family is better served.

 

When decision-making documents HAVE NOT been set up in advance:

Health care decisions
In Florida, the law allows your next of kin to make most health care decisions. Your next-of-kin may not know your wishes or may make decisions according to their beliefs rather than yours. If your children are acting on your behalf, it must be by majority vote which may cause strife in the family.

Life-prolonging decisions
In Florida, the law allows your next-of-kin to make decisions regarding artificially prolonging your life based upon your expressed wishes. If you have not expressed your wishes, your next of kin can make the decision they believe is in your best interest.

Financial decisions
In Florida, without signing legal documents prior to becoming incapacitated, the only way for someone to manage your finances is to go to court and be appointed your guardian. Guardianship is costly, time-consuming and a restrictive legal process. There are easier ways to authorize action on your behalf.

 

When decision-making documents HAVE been set up in advance:

Health care decisions
When you have signed legal documents including the appointment of a Health Care Surrogate and a Living Will declaration, the person you have chosen can make all decisions regarding your health care if you become incapacitated.

Financial decisions
A Durable Power of Attorney or a Living Trust allow the management of all finances. A thorough discussion of the finances and alternatives to paying for long-term care should also be decided upon.

Contact Osterhout & McKinney, P.A. Today

If you are seeking legal representation or have questions about our services, please call our office at (239) 939-4888 or contact our firm online.

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