Trust Us To Be Your Voice

FAQs about health care directives in estate planning

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

When planning your estate, it’s important to consider not only how to handle your assets but also how to manage your health care decisions if you cannot make them yourself. 

Health care directives are vital tools in estate planning, ensuring that your medical wishes are clear and respected, and it is important for everyone to understand what they are.

What is a health care directive?

A health care directive, also known as a living will, is a document that outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment if you become unable to communicate these decisions yourself. This document guides your family and health care providers in making decisions that align with your preferences during critical medical situations.

Why do I need a health care directive?

Having a health care directive ensures that you receive the type of medical care you desire, even when you cannot voice your decisions. It helps to relieve your loved ones of the burden of making tough medical choices on your behalf without knowing your preferences. It also prevents potential conflicts among family members regarding what they think you might have wanted.

What should I include in my health care directive?

In your health care directive, you should include instructions on what medical treatments you do or do not want. These might relate to life-sustaining measures like mechanical ventilation, resuscitation if your heart stops, tube feeding, or other interventions. You can also specify your wishes regarding pain management and organ donation. Including as much detail as possible will provide clearer guidance for those making decisions on your behalf.

Who should I choose as my health care proxy?

A health care proxy is someone you appoint to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Choose someone you trust deeply, who understands your values and is willing to advocate for your wishes. This person should be emotionally stable and able to handle potentially stressful situations involving your medical care.

Creating a health care directive is a proactive step in managing your medical affairs and provides peace of mind knowing that your health care preferences will be respected, even when you cannot advocate for yourself. It ensures that your medical treatment aligns with your values and wishes, providing clear instructions for those who might need to make decisions on your behalf.