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Common Fears That Prevent Older Adults From Creating Advance Directives In Clearwater

ElderlyParent

Accidental injuries, severe illnesses, and worsening of chronic health conditions become more common as we age. Unfortunately, these can leave you incapacitated, preventing you from communicating your wishes regarding medical care. Advance directives help protect you in this situation, but our Clearwater elder law attorney explains how common fears among older adults may prevent them from putting the appropriate legal documents in place.

Advance Directives Play An Important Role In Clearwater Estate Planning

Advance directives are legal documents you create as part of an estate plan, which convey your wishes in the event an injury or illness leaves you incapacitated and unable to communicate or make decisions on your own. The National Institute on Aging advises that they are something everyone needs to have in place.

Clarifying medical wishes takes on even more significance as you get older and when you are likely to be faced with greater declines in health and mobility. Advance directives that are designed to protect you in the event of potentially life-threatening medical emergencies include:

  • Powers of attorney, authorizing someone you trust to handle your personal and financial affairs on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated;
  • Health care powers of attorney, authorizing someone you trust to make important medical decisions based on your previously expressed wishes;
  • A living will, detailing your wishes regarding different types of medical care and life-saving medical procedures;
  • Do not resuscitate orders, if you prefer to die a more natural death rather than relying on feeding tubes, ventilators, and other interventions.

Fears That may Prevent Older Adults From Creating Advance Directives

Under the Florida Statutes, advance directives are important legal documents that can be created as part of estate planning in Clearwater. They protect your rights, best interests, and overall dignity in emergency medical situations, preventing loved ones from having to guess what you might have wanted. However, there are some common fears that often prevent older adults from putting advance directives in place:

  • Fear of death: For some, the topic of death is terrifying and one they go out of their way to avoid.
  • Fear of the process of death: In some cases, rather than being afraid of dying, older adults may be fearful about the process itself.
  • Fear of loss of control: Fear of being incapacitated or otherwise losing control, either of their faculties or of their legal rights in making their own decisions, is a valid concern among older adults.

In talking with older loved ones about advance directives, avoid trying to force anything. Emphasize how these documents actually work to address their fears and start small with a health care power of attorney.

Contact Our Clearwater Elder Law Attorney

Clearwater elder law attorney William Rambaum, PLG Law has over 40 years of experience protecting the rights of older adults in our community. To discuss advance directives and other important estate planning documents you need to have in place, call or contact our office and request a consultation today.

Sources:

nia.nih.gov/health/advance-care-planning/advance-care-planning-advance-directives-health-care

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0765/0765.html

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