The past 16 months have made us all a little bit more sensitive to issue of health and mortality. Advance care planning has always been important, but the peace of mind that these legal instruments have provided during our pandemic is a testimony to why everyone in your life should have one. What is an advanced directive? They are legal documents that include a living will and your healthcare directive and proxy. A living will includes your desires about healthcare procedures and acts you would prefer or not wish to have undertaken on your behalf.
A living will also includes a person who acts as your proxy should you become incapacitated. Even if you’re young and healthy, an advanced healthcare directive can serve as a safeguard in case the worse happens.
If you still aren’t sure if you need one, here are 4 great reason you may want to reconsider.
Planning will help you think about your health goals and healthcare plans: A study of American adults stated that 68% do not have a will. It’s uncomfortable and saddening to speak about the end of life, but it’s an important conversation to have. Once you sit down to plan your healthcare directive, you will find out how you feel about different medical topics. Do you want your life prolonged? Do you want to be allowed to die naturally and to end the pain of a long illness? No one knows the answers to these questions except you. You don’t want to be forced to make this decision under the duress of an illness or emergency.
Planning your advanced directive help you consider the what ifs of life: Life is full of unpredictable events that we would not or could not imagine for ourselves. Some of these events are wonderful and others challenging. No one plans to get sick or need lifesaving medical intervention early in life, but if you have considered these events while completing your estate planning you will be ready for whatever happens.
Advanced directives can give your family peace of mind: Your medical wishes should be drawn out and discussed with your family. If you find yourself incapacitated and your loved ones need to make decisions about your life or death, that’s an enormous burden for them if they are guessing what you may want. Plus, if your loved ones disagree about the best course of action, your wishes can be laid out in writing so there’s no question. Because the hospital musts honor your advance directive, you will get the final say in your care.
An advanced directive can give you a voice: If you are unwell, unconscious, or unable to speak for yourself, your advance directive can share with those rendering aid the choices you would make if you were able. Sharing the document with your doctors tells them that you have considered your choices and are informed about your care. It also informs those around you about how you’d wish to be treated while vulnerable and unable to speak on the issues being discussed about your healthcare.
Your advanced directive needs to be an actual document in writing. Creating an advance directive is free and easy, but if you want a more complete estate plan, a family law attorney can help you create a plan to finalize your wishes. At Cianci Law, PC, our attorneys can work with you to create an estate plan that protects your interest and provides safeguards for your family.
Call us at (916) 797-1575 for more information on these and other estate planning documents to match your situation.
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