Before funerals at funeral homes in Quincy, FL, everyone should have a care plan in place for the end of their lives. But as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow across the country, including in Florida, it is critical that you don’t delay getting your end-of-life care plan in place and communicating what you want with your family.
The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us many things, not the least of which is that things can change suddenly. This includes your health. You may be fine today, but there is no guarantee that you’ll be fine tomorrow. That’s the way this virus works.
What you can do today – and what you should do today – is to create your end-of-life care plan and make sure that your family knows what kind of care you want. There are several legal documents that you need to make sure you have.
The first legal document is a medical proxy. When you create a medical proxy, you designate someone that you trust and who knows your medical history and your end-of-life care wishes to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself.
You may also want to list a second person as an alternative, in case your primary health care proxy isn’t able to fulfill their duties.
A medical proxy, which is also known as a medical power of attorney, can be created online, using legal software, or by an attorney. A medical proxy is legal as long as it is signed and dated. You should give a copy to your primary care provider and to the person that you’ve designated as your proxy.
If you go to the hospital, you need to make sure that the document is included in your electronic records. This will make it easier for your medical proxy to advocate for your healthcare if you can’t, including making end-of-life decisions.
The second legal document that you need is a living will. A living will let you specify the kind of care that you want at the end of your life.
You can opt for every possible medical intervention to be used to save your life if you are dying or you can opt for no medical intervention, except for medication to keep you comfortable and pain-free, when you are at the end of your life.
This is a vital document during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you do not have it, medical personnel will default to doing everything possible to try to save your life. While the odds are good that you will die anyway, they will perform very painful procedures to try to prolong your life.
This means that you could spend several days or weeks and a lot of money in the hospital with the same outcome you would have had if no medical intervention happened. You may be someone who wants all the medical care possible or you may be someone who doesn’t.
If you don’t want medical intervention at the end of your life, your living will ensures that your wishes are honored.
You can create a living will the same way that you create your medical proxy. A living will is legal as long as it is signed and dated.
The final legal document you need to have in place is a will or trust. These legal instruments let you appoint someone to take care of your final affairs after you die, including taking care of outstanding debts and distributing your assets as you specify.