No one enjoys entertaining worst-case scenarios in their mind. However, it is always better to think ahead and prepare for the worst than it is to ignore the possibilities of what might happen and end up totally caught off guard.
This is the case for advance directives. Just what are these, and how can they potentially help you out in the future?
What is an advance directive for?
Vitas discusses some ways you can improve your advance directive, which may serve as a crucial point in estate planning. An advance directive serves as a document that tells your loved ones what medical decisions you want to be made in a situation where you cannot verbalize it yourself, i.e. if you are in a coma, suffering from brain damage or so on.
You can determine the type of medical treatments that you do and do not want, when to resuscitate you, and what to do in the event of specific medical scenarios such as if a doctor ever declares you vegetative.
Maximizing your advance directive
You can also take steps to make your directive more beneficial. First, speak openly about it with your family. This gives you the chance to explain why you made certain decisions and may make it easier for them to follow your instructions later.
Next, keep a copy of this directive in an area where trusted family members can easily reach it if need be. You should also alert the medical professionals in your life to the fact that you have an advance directive.
Understand as many types of life-saving treatments as possible so you can make fully informed decisions. Last but not least, have a proxy you trust that you know will act in your best interest.