If you’ve spent the time creating your will, you may feel like that task is complete. You can rest assured your requests will be honored upon your death. But an estate plan is not just for wills and trusts. There can be another critical portion of your estate plan that covers health care directives.
Having a health care directive in place can help plan for end-of-life decisions. Although this may seem like a morbid topic, it is important in ensuring your wishes are followed if you are not able to communicate.
What is included in a health care directive?
A health care directive can include valuable information for your loved ones. This may include:
- Naming a health care proxy who will make healthcare decisions for you when you are incapacitated.
- Goals and preferences regarding your health care.
- Types of medical treatments you would want or not want
- Where you want to receive care.
- If you would like artificial nutrition and hydration.
- Instructions if you are pregnant.
- If you wish to donate your organs.
- Funeral arrangements
A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help their client create a health care directive and make sure it is legally binding. If you are in an accident or have another healthcare emergency that makes you unable to make medical decisions for yourself, your family will be left wondering what your wishes are if you do not have a health care directive. This is already an extremely stressful time for them and with the additional burden of having to make important medical decisions it can be overwhelming. By working with an attorney, these documents will be there for your family when making choices is not an easy thing to do.