J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Living wills can be a key part of Floridians' estate plans

Death can be an unpleasant thing to think about. Yet there may be many advantages to thinking about and anticipating potential end-of-life issues. A big issue that may be worth thinking about is the issue of what happens if one becomes incapacitated and unable to make one's own health care decisions.

This is where an advance health care directive may prove to be helpful. Advance health care directives are also known as living wills, and they provide directions to health care professionals on the topic of providing, withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging procedures. An advance health care directive provides assurance that a person's wishes will be respected regarding this sensitive topic.

Another potential aid is a health care surrogate. A health care surrogate is a person empowered to make these kinds of decisions for another person if the other person becomes incapacitated. Health care surrogates can also authorize the donation of a bodily organ.

Advance health care directives and health care surrogates can be a key part of any person's estate plan. We at the law office of J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC have helped many Lakeland and Winter Haven residents with their estate planning needs, including setting up advance health care directives and health care surrogates.

Advance health care directives and health care surrogates can be established without the help of an estate planning attorney. But there may be advantages to establishing them at the same time that one establishes their general estate plan. For example, a durable power of attorney allows a person to designate another person to handle their financial matters in case of incapacity. Setting up a health care surrogate and a durable power of attorney at the same time may make sense.

We stand ready to discuss these options and more with potential clients. For more information on how we can help, check out the living wills page on our website.

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