Five Benefits of Creating an Advance Health Care Directive

One of the essential documents in a comprehensive estate plan is an advance healthcare directive. This type of legal document allows you to choose a family member, friend, or significant other to make healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. The medical decision-maker, called the agent, must be over the age of 18. We recommend using someone you trust to follow your wishes when making medical decisions. Advanced healthcare directives also allow you to state what type of life-sustaining treatment you would like to receive or not like to receive in a medical emergency.

1. Advance Healthcare Directives Help You Consider Your Goals

None of us wants to sit down and think about the potential of becoming medically incapacitated. It is challenging to consider end-of-life care. However, sitting down to create an advance healthcare directive will help you prioritize your goals. When making decisions regarding what type of medical care you would like in the future, you can decide on your goals for your health and your health care treatments.

Each person is different. Sometimes people value prolonging their life as their main priority. Other people prioritize limiting their pain and suffering or the devastating effect on their loved ones. Whatever path you choose, planning ahead to create an advance healthcare directive will help you communicate your values with your family, friends, and health care providers. The best time to create an advance healthcare directive is when you are not under pressure and have ample time to consider your goals, not during a medical crisis.

2. Advance Healthcare Directives Help You Prepare for the Unexpected

None of us can predict the future. Nonetheless, we do know that medical emergencies can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Many people assume that they can put off creating an advance healthcare directive until they are in the later stages of life. However, medical emergencies happen to people of all ages. Anybody over the age of 18 can experience a health crisis. Creating an advance directive now ensures you are prepared for unexpected medical situations that come your way.

3. Advance Healthcare Directives Give You and Your Family Comfort

Serious illnesses and medical emergencies can be overwhelming for the patient and his or her family members. Making end-of-life decisions is stressful for family members. They may be afraid to make the wrong decision or go against their loved one’s wishes inadvertently. When you create an advance directive, you are taking the pressure off of your loved ones when they are making medical decisions for you. They will feel more secure knowing that they are making decisions that align with your value system when they need to act on your behalf. Doctors must honor the choices you have made in your advance directive, and your loved ones will take comfort knowing they are following your wishes.

4. Advance Healthcare Directives Help Your Doctors Follow Your Wishes

Doctors want to use treatment options that their patients support. When patients create an advance directive, their treating physicians know that they are making informed decisions about their care. An advance directive can help you have a more meaningful relationship with your doctors. After you create an advance directive, we recommend giving a copy of the document to your doctor and your trusted loved ones. If you are not ready to share your preferences with the people you love, make sure they know where to find a copy of your advance directive.

5. An Advance Directive Speaks for You When You are Not Able to

Creating an advance directive allows you to have a voice even when you are unable to communicate. An advance directive ensures that you will receive the type of medical treatment you desire, regardless of the circumstances. You will also be able to change your advance directive if your values change over time. Sharing your priorities for your end-of-life care to your loved ones can help you develop more meaningful relationships and protect yourself.

Contact An Charlotte Estate Planning Lawyer Today

There is no time like the present to create an advanced health directive. However, an advanced health directive is only one aspect of a comprehensive estate plan. The lawyers at Arnold and Smith, PLLC, can help you create a will-based or trust-based estate plan that addresses all of your unique financial needs. Contact them today to schedule a free initial consultation.