The value of having an advance health care directive

Planning for end-of-life is important to consider and can provide valuable peace of mind for the estate planner and their loved ones and family. Drafting an advance health care directive that reflects the wishes of the estate planner is useful, and understanding what an advance health care directive can do is beneficial.

An advance health care directive, sometimes also referred to as a living will, is an important document to include as part of an overall estate plan. An advance health care directive provides direction concerning how end-of-life medical treatment should be handled. It allows the estate planner to ensure their wishes are understood and followed if they become incapacitated and are unable to direct their own medical care and treatment. It also helps ensure family members will not be left with the burden of making difficult decisions for their loved one during an emotional time.

An advance health care directive notes when the estate planner wishes for a do not resuscitate order to be activated; to what extent the estate planner wants extraordinary medical measures to be taken by doctors on their behalf; the reasons and length of time they want to be placed on life support; the types and amount of medication they wish to be administered to them; their final wishes concerning disposition of their remains; and any other specific details the estate planner wishes to include related to their end-of-life health care treatment.

Having an advance healthcare directive can help estate planners rest easy that they will be cared for how they wish during their final days but will also help family members navigate a stressful and emotional period of time more easily. Understanding how to effectively draft an advance health care directive that reflects the needs of the estate planner is essential for estate planners and their families to be familiar with.

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