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When a will isn't enough

While a will may be an effective estate planning tool for Florida residents, it may not be the only document a person may need. For instance, a living will may provide direction as to what medical treatments a person wants if incapacitated. A healthcare power of attorney has the authority to make broader decisions about an individual's care in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated.

It may be a good idea to list an alternate person or entity to make these decisions. This can be helpful if the original party dies or becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney handles other issues that may arise if an individual is unable to make decisions on his or her own. Typically, such a document gives a person or entity the power to pay bills and handle other routine events in a person's life.

A "do not resuscitate/intubate" order can be helpful if a person doesn't want to be brought back. This order should be easily accessible, and it may even be possible for an individual to tattoo the order on his or her body. Those who wish to be an organ donor may want to register with the National Organ Donor Registry as checking a box on a driver's license may not always be sufficient.

Creating a thorough estate plan may make it easier to have a person's wishes met both during life and after passing. Talking with an attorney may help an individual learn more about how to account for various scenarios in which he or she may become incapacitated prior to passing. Doing so may make it easier for family members or friends to understand a person's wishes. This may increase the odds that these wishes are met in the future.

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