If you are like most people, thinking about what may happen if you are incapacitated or at the end of your life isn’t something you enjoy. However, as a responsible adult, it’s something you shouldn’t avoid.
Part of end-of-life planning is establishing an advanced health care directive. This document is an important part of any comprehensive estate plan.
What is the purpose of an advanced health care directive?
The advanced health care directive is a document that provides instructions about your health care. You can name someone to make decisions about health care for you if you can’t do it for yourself and express your wishes on various health care and medical factors.
Some of the things that this document can be used for include:
- Making organ donation requests
- Designating a preferred primary physician
- Assigning limits to your agent’s authority
- Consenting or refusing certain types of care
Essentially, with this in place, you are letting the person you name as your health care agent know what you want when it comes to medical treatment. This helps to take some of the stress out of these decisions because your wishes will be in writing.
Ensuring the legality of your advanced health care directive
To ensure that your document is legal and that the instructions are binding, there are a few requirements you must meet. For example, it’s necessary for the creator to sign and date the form. You also need to have two qualified witness signatures acknowledged by a notary public.
The importance of having an advanced health care directive
As you can see, this document outlines many things in your estate plan. Because of this, you should have one, no matter your age. Not only will it ensure that your wishes are carried out for medical treatment, but it will also reduce the stress of family members who are tasked with these decisions.