No one wants to think about a time when they won’t be around. However, as a responsible adult, it’s up to you to ensure you don’t create a burden for your loved ones when you die or if you become incapacitated.
One of the best ways to do this is with an estate plan. While most people think of wills and trusts when discussing estate planning, there are other aspects of it, including the advanced health care directive.
What is an advanced health care directive?
The advanced health care directive is a document that comes into play while you are still living. It is used in situations where you are incapacitated and cannot make medical decisions about your care.
The document establishes who will make medical decisions on your behalf. By having this document as part of your estate plan, you can choose someone who will provide instructions if you are incapacitated to ensure you get the level and type of care you desire (if any).
Parts of the advanced health care directive
As mentioned above, the advanced health care directive names an individual who can decide your medical treatment. It also outlines the types of treatments you want and doesn’t want if incapacitated. Usually, this involves if you want treatment to prolong your life or want no lifesaving measures. You can also make your organ donation status known in this document.
Creating your advanced health care directive
A lot of estate planning is focused on what will happen after you die. However, some documents, like the advanced health care directive, will be used while you are still alive. Having this information and instructions as part of your estate plan will help ensure loved ones know what steps to take if you are incapacitated.