In Florida, you may describe your wishes for health care in a living will and medical power of attorney. In your living will, you may describe and document the kind of health care you would like to receive if you can no longer speak for yourself. In your medical power of attorney (called a Designation of Health Care Surrogate in Florida), you may name a trusted person (sometimes called a health care proxy or health care agent) to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you are no longer able to do so.
Your living will must be signed by two witnesses, one of whom must not be your spouse or related to you by blood.
Your Designation of Health Care Surrogate must also be signed by two witnesses, both of whom must be at least 18 years old. Neither witness may be your health care surrogate. In addition, one of your witnesses must not be your spouse or a blood relative.
After you and your witnesses sign your documents, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your surrogate, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. You might also consider giving copies of your documents to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.
Review your documents every few years to make sure that they still reflect your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your surrogate is no longer able to supervise your wishes.
Your properly finalized documents will stay in effect until you revoke them, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your documents at any time. The best way to revoke your documents is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your documents that you have revoked them.
Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.
Learn more about Florida Living Wills and Designations of Health Care Surrogates.
When you make a health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform Florida law. It will also print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.