Under Florida law, any person over the age of eighteen can designate another person, the Healthcare Surrogate, to make medical decisions during periods of incapacity. The Healthcare Surrogate is guided in end-of-life decision making by the Living Will, executed along with the Designation of Healthcare Surrogate.
The Living Will contains instructions regarding the withdrawal or withholding of life-prolonging procedures in the event that such procedures become necessary to keep the person alive. Without these documents, a Guardianship, which can be very costly, may be necessary.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.