What is an anatomical donation?

It is a document that indicates your wish to donate, at death, all or part of your body.  This can be an organ and tissue donation to persons in need, or a donation of your body for the training of healthcare workers.  You can indicate your choice to be an organ donor by designating it on your driver’s license or state identification card (at your nearest driver’s license office), signing a uniform donor form (seen elsewhere in this pamphlet), or expressing your wish in a living will.

Can I change my mind after I write an advance directive?

Yes, you may change or cancel an advance directive at any time. Any changes should be written, signed and dated.  However, you can also change an advance directive by oral statement; physical destruction of the advance directive, or by writing a new advance directive. For any changes in your advance directive, it is best to contact an experienced estate planning lawyer.

If your driver’s license or state identification card indicates you are an organ donor, but you no longer want this designation, contact the nearest driver’s license office to cancel the donor designation, and a new license or card will be issued to you.

What should I do with my advance directive if I choose to have one?

Now more than ever, t is important to plan for health related matters and incapacity, and there are several things to remember as you do so:

  • If you designate a healthcare surrogate and an alternate surrogate, be sure to ask them if they agree to take this responsibility, discuss how you would like matters handled, and give them, and your estate planning lawyer, a copy of the document.
  • Make sure that your healthcare provider, attorney, and the significant persons in your life know that you have an advance directive and tell them where it is located. You also may want to give them a copy.
  • Set up a file where you can keep a copy of your advance directive, and other important paperwork. Some people keep original papers in a bank safety deposit box. If you do, you may want to keep copies at your house, or at the very least, information concerning the location of your safety deposit box.
  • Keep a card or note in your purse or wallet that states the existence of your advance directive and where it is located.
  • If you change your advance directive, make sure your healthcare provider, estate planning attorney, and the significant persons in your life have the latest copy.

If you have questions about options for advanced directives, you should discuss these with your healthcare provider, attorney, or significant persons in your life.


At The Wheeler Law Firm, we can help you gain confidence in your healthcare by drafting a living will, health care surrogate, advanced directive, and pre-need guardian statement that accounts for your individual circumstances and wishes. We will also help you understand how to best utilize the document for your benefit. Contact us to schedule a consultation with the premier estate planning lawyers in Florida, or call us at (850) 613-6923.