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Estate planning lawyers can simplify advanced directives

Jul 28, 2017 | Estate Planning

Making plans for one’s estate is a complicated process that some people in Florida and elsewhere choose to avoid. However, considering how such plans can allow a person control over important matters once he or she is incapacitated and unable to communicate, it might be worth a consultation with estate planning lawyers. A recent study in the Journal of Patient Safety indicates that doctors are often confused when reading advance directives of patients. Because of that, it might be smart to use the guidance of skilled legal counsel when drafting such directives.

Advance directives serve the purpose of spelling out a patient’s wishes related to saving his or her life. Doctors need to understand a patient’s wishes when cardiac resuscitation or other procedures are necessary to save his or her life. If a patient suffers a serious stroke or becomes unconscious, instructions on advance directives are invoked.

Members of the research group say doctors who are unsure about the true intention of a patient’s wishes in an advanced directive often consult with each other without knowing whether the ultimate interpretation is the right one. For the study, advanced directives that were supported by video recordings were shown to multiple doctors who reached consensus in the majority of the cases. However, video recordings related to estate planning can only be used to accompany documented estate plans, and not on their own.

Florida residents who want to ensure their wishes are carried out accurately may benefit from the skilled guidance of experienced estate planning lawyers. A seasoned attorney can provide valuable input and make sure the advanced directives are understandable. Furthermore, a lawyer can assist with establishing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents while working to cover all eventualities.

Source:, “Doctors are confused by living wills, study finds“, Stacey Burling, Feb. 16, 2017