Thinking about the worst-case scenario regarding your health can be difficult. But what if, in the future, you stopped breathing due to declining health? Would your loved ones know whether you wanted to be resuscitated or receive life-saving treatment? Or what if you suffer a life-altering injury contributing to incapacitation, but you feel strongly about only pursuing certain treatments?

Implementing an advance directive as part of your estate plan in New York can help you make these types of decisions before the worst-case scenario occurs.

A health care advance directive allows you to disclose your desires about the type and extent of medical treatment you want to receive if someone else needs to verbalize your wishes to health care professionals.

Optimizing your advance directive

Having an advance directive may give you peace of mind and also provide your family members with comfort and reassurance during traumatic moments if you sustain a serious injury or illness. However, according to Vitas Health, there are steps you can take to make your directive more beneficial. These include the following:

  • Have an open discussion with your family about why you made specific decisions.
  • Understand the various types of life-saving treatments so you can make informed and confident choices.
  • Keep a copy of your directive in an accessible place where family members know they can access it.
  • Update your medical records to inform health care professionals that you have an advance directive.
  • Rely on a surrogate who has your best interest and is not afraid to speak up on your behalf.

Improving your plan

Your advance directive will undoubtedly improve your estate plan by providing invaluable information to your family members. Their awareness of your advance directive may enable them to approach your health care needs with confidence. Having the reassurance that their decisions correlate with your end-of-life wishes may provide sustainable comfort and encouragement for them and for you. If you would like to learn more about planning your estate, please visit our web page.