When people revisit their estate plans, the allocation of their property or beneficiary designations often receive more consideration than the living will documents. However, the documents that you’ve created to guide your loved ones in the event of your incapacitation need to stay up-to-date as well.
There are numerous scenarios where changes to your estate plan and your advanced medical directive specifically will be necessary. Below are the two most common reasons people revisit the terms of their advanced medical directives.
Their family relationships change
Maybe they go through a divorce and need to remove their ex-spouse from positions of authority in their estate planning documents.
Even those who are happily married can reach an age where they realize it makes more sense to have their children or grandchildren assume medical authority on their behalf instead of a spouse or a sibling.
Your advanced medical directive should reflect your current family relationships and only empower those whom you trust.
They get diagnosed with a serious medical condition
Nothing changes your perspective on what kind of medical care you would willingly undergo than a sudden diagnosis with a serious condition. Whether you have cancer or a neurological condition, the effect of your condition on your overall quality of life might change your perspective on aggressive intervention.
On the other hand, recently overcoming an injury or illness may redouble your dedication to living as long as possible. Your advanced medical directive should include your changing opinions as your medical needs shift. Even growing a few years older can be enough to change someone’s opinion on certain kinds of medical care.
You want to make sure that your advanced medical directive is up-to-date regarding both your personal situation and your medical preferences so that it will sufficiently protect you if anything unfortunate occurs.