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What documents help to determine medical care?

As you age, it's important to make plans for your future health care. This isn't something that's easy to handle or think about, but taking care of the details now might help you later on. And it will almost certainly help to make life easier for your loved ones.

There are a couple of things you need to think about when you are making plans for your health care. Here are some starting points for you to consider.

Who will make decisions about your medical care?

You will need to set a power of attorney for health care. The person you name in this document will be able to make decisions about every aspect of your health care. The document will go into effect when you aren't able to make decisions on your own. The person can't go against the information that you provide in your living will, so you must make sure that the living will accurately depicts your wishes.

Are there any medical treatments that you feel strongly about?

Your living will is a document that lets medical professionals know what treatments you are willing to have and which treatments you don't want at all. For example, you might decline to be placed on life support, but you might accept being given life sustaining fluids and nutritional support. You should be as clear as possible in the living will so that you make it easy to know what you want. Additionally, you should understand that the living will doesn't usually matter in the case of an emergency medical care provided by paramedics and EMTs as a result of a 911 call.

What do you want to take place after you pass away?

If you plan on donating your organs or donating your body for science, you need to have documentation of this. Ideally, you will have the information about where your body is going if you are donating your entire body to science. This makes it easier to make sure that your wishes are followed after you pass away.

The living will and the power of attorney for health care are only two components of an estate plan. You should make sure that your estate plan covers everything from your health care when you can't make your wishes known yourself through what is going to happen to your property after you die. The more comprehensive your plan is now, the better your family will be able to follow your wishes later.

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