Although death is an inevitable part of life, many of us are reluctant to face the fact that we are not going to live forever and plan for our end-of-life care.
By making end-of-life choices early on, you can improve the quality of your life in the future and ease the burden on your family later on. Discussing and preparing an Advance Health Care Directive with your loved ones offers the best assurance that decisions regarding your future medical care will reflect your own values and wishes.
It is difficult for an individual to think about the care and treatment they will want in the event they are incapable of making their own health care decisions one day.
However, completing an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) is important because you may unexpectedly find yourself in a position where you cannot speak for yourself, such as an accident or severe illness.
An Advance Health Care Directive gives you the following options:
- You can appoint someone (your agent) who has power of attorney to make care and treatment decisions on your behalf and give instructions about your health care wishes, such as a trusted friend or family member
- You can give detailed instructions about your health care wishes
- You can do both – appoint someone to make your decisions and give detailed instructions
- Once you have completed the required form and have your signature notarized or witnessed, take a copy to your primary care physician so that it can be placed in your medical records file. In addition, give your agent a copy and keep one for your own personal records.
Advance Health Care Directives and living wills are not complicated, but the content can be complex and should be thought through very carefully. It can be short, simple statements about what you want done or not done if you can’t speak for yourself.
An effective estate plan does much more than designate how your assets will pass to your beneficiaries at your death. It also addresses issues that arise while you are alive. For instance, what should be done if you become injured or sick and are unable to make decisions on your own?
These topics may be uncomfortable to talk about, but our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will gently walk you through various scenarios. We can help you create an advance health care directive that reflects your beliefs and desires.