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legal words
legal words

Advance Directive: 

a written or oral statement about how you want medical decisions made should you not be able to make them yourself. 

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Asset Protection: 

involves examining resources available to pay for care considering benefits that may be accessible including long term care insurance, VA benefits and Medicaid.


is a medical order written by a doctor. It instructs health care providers not to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient’s breathing stops or if the patient’s heart stops beating.


is the legal word for a person, appointed by a court to be legally responsible for someone who is unable to manage his or her own affairs.  A guardian may have plenary (complete) power or may have limited powers.

Health Care Surrogate:

is the legal words for the person named to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself or if you want someone to help you make medical decisions. 

Life Care Planning:

a law practices that offer legal services, care coordination and advocacy support to help elderly clients and their families respond to the challenges of aging, long-term illness and disability.

Living Will: 

a written or oral statement of the kind of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions.  It is called a living will because it takes effect while you are still living. 

Power of Attorney:

a legal document by which one person (the principal) gives another person (the agent or the attorney-in-fact) legal authority to act on his or her behalf.

POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment):

is an approach to improving end-of-life care in the United States, encouraging providers to speak with patients and create specific medical orders to be honored by health care workers during a medical crisis.  Florida has not adopted POLST legislation.


is the judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence [or where real property is located] of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal will.  The court ensures that creditors are paid, taxes are paid and the estate is properly distributed.


is the legal word for a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Different types of trusts serve different purposes.


a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses his or her wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the Personal Representative (executor) to manage the estate until its final distribution.