You have a lot of ground to cover while assembling your estate plan. Not only must you plan to take care of your loved ones after your death, but you must also take care of yourself while still alive. Does your end-of-life strategy include a health care directive?
The American Bar Association explains the importance of having a health directive as part of your estate plan. Ensure that you account for all possibilities regarding your life and health so you remain in control.
Defining a health care directive
By drafting a health care directive, you let physicians, nurses, first responders and other medical care providers know what manner of health care you want to receive if you cannot voice your desires. With access to a legal document, health care professionals and your loved ones do not have to guess your preferences. Also, doctors know which person in your life to consult, known as your health care proxy if they have questions you did not cover in your health care directive. This helps save time on gaining a consensus from your relatives.
Using a health care directive for peace of mind
Besides medical care professionals, health care directives also help your loved ones during a medical emergency. Your friends and family may feel unsure about the treatments, procedures and medical decisions you want. Even if you discussed such matters with them before, you may change your mind but not share that fact. Ensuring your directive reflects your current wishes means those closest to you do not have to make hard decisions for you.
A well-written health care directive may provide comfort for those who mean the most to you during an emotional time. It may become one of the most essential documents in your estate plan.