Estate plans protect your family after you are gone. They also make sure that your assets receive the proper treatment in terms of inheritances.
When it comes to advance directives, also known as living wills, they can ensure you receive the type of medical care you prefer should you experience a major illness or injury. This guide covers a few important basics of living wills to enhance your understanding of them.
Elements to include in an advance directive
Living wills feature instructions on end-of-life medical care. The goal is to spell out your wishes explicitly so doctors and family members provide the type of care you request. For instance, some people prohibit the use of CPR to prolong their lives in the document. Others list instructions on feeding tubes and other life-preserving treatments.
You can also use the document to specify a desire for palliative care. The goal of palliative care is to make the person comfortable, but not take steps to extend their lives when faced with a terminal issue. Advance directives can also include information on organ donation and other matters.
How to select a health care agent
It is also a good idea to choose a health care agent or medical power of attorney when creating a living will. This person will serve as your advocate in case doctors or family have questions about information in the advance directive. They will also make certain that others respect your wishes and that you receive the care you require.
The person you select must be responsible. They must be willing to carry out your wishes without letting their personal feelings get in the way. They must also advocate for you, even when faced with pushback from others in your life.