A WILL IS NOT ENOUGH
What are supplement documents?
- Supplemental documents are essential to the planning of your estate. Since they control what happens to you when you are still alive, they are arguably the most important estate planning documents you can have.
- These supplemental documents usually fall under the categories of Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, HIPAA Release Authorization and Living Will.
- Supplemental documents may also include real estate agreements, prenuptial agreements, loans and gift bequests.
What are the advantages to executing supplemental documents?
- The government could be running your estate while you are ill or incapacitated
- Supplemental documents will allow you to designate how your estate will be administered if you get ill or are incapacitated.
- If you do not execute supplemental documents, a guardian from the state or an estranged next of kin may be making decisions for you.
What kind of decisions do supplemental documents control?
The most important decisions you will ever make regarding your life including:
- Who Can Make Medical Decisions For You
- Who Can Authorize Financial Transactions On Your Behalf
- Who Can View Your Medical Records
- If You Must Be Kept Alive Artificially
What will executing these documents do for me?
There are many different documents you may want to include in your estate; however, the most common ones include instructions that reflect your medical and financial desires. They include:
1. Durable Power of Attorney – This Power of Attorney form is designed to allow the designated person or persons to manage your financial affairs either immediately or in the future should you become mentally or physically unable to do so.
2. Designation of Health Care Surrogate – This document is based on the statutory language found in Florida Statute 765.203. It allows the designated person or persons to make medical decisions on your behalf.
3. HIPAA Release – HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) requires health care providers to be very careful how they release health care information. All health care providers are required to make reasonable efforts to limit the release of protected health information to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the particular disclosure or request for disclosure. In this form, you will name one or more persons who will be able to have access to all of your medical information.
4. Living Will – This form allows you to state whether you want your life to be artificially prolonged or whether you prefer to be allowed to die naturally. This document contains the statutory language found in Florida Statute 765.303. Without a correctly executed living will, you must be kept alive artificially no matter what your true wishes are or how much it costs your family financially.
The best way to be certain of which supplemental documents you need as part of your estate plan is to consult with your estate planning attorney. Our attorneys will evaluate your needs and desires and outline a plan that is best for you. Supplemental documents ensure that your estate is handled as you wish during your lifetime and after you die.
For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?