You may have heard the term “advance directives” before, but you’re not sure what it means. Advance directives are a set of written instructions that tell doctors and caregivers how you want to be treated if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This includes things like whether or not you want to be kept on life support, or receive dialysis. It’s important to have advance directives in place, because if something happens and you can’t make decisions for yourself, your loved ones will need to know what you would have wanted. In this blog post, we’ll discuss advance directives in more detail and help you decide how having one may benefit you.
Types of Advance Directives
There are two types of advance directives: living wills and durable power of attorney for health care. A living will is a document that states your wishes for medical treatment if you become terminally ill or unable to communicate your decisions. A durable power of attorney for health care appoints someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
Which Is Right for You?
You don’t need to have both a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care, but it’s important to have at least one in place. If you only have a living will, that means that your wishes will be followed if you become terminally ill or unable to communicate them. However, if something happens and you’re able to communicate your decisions, your wishes may not be followed. On the other hand, if you only have a durable power of attorney for health care, that means that someone else will make decisions on your behalf, but they may not know what you would want.
The best way to ensure that your wishes are followed is to have both a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. That way, if something happens and you’re unable to communicate your decisions, there’s a written record of what you wanted. And if you’re able to communicate your decisions, then the person you appointed can make sure they’re carried out.
Setting Up Your Advance Directive
If you don’t have either a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care in place, now is a good time to create one. You can find templates online, or you can speak to an attorney about drafting one for you.
Advance directives are an important part of estate planning, and they can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed if something happens to you. If you have any questions about advance directives, or if you need help creating one, our team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.