If you are younger, have no children and have minimal assets, then you may not think that estate planning is important. If you aren’t concerned with estate planning, then chances are you haven’t even thought about an advanced directive.
However, advanced directives are important documents to have at any age. If you are ready to create yours, learning more about it is essential.
What are advanced directives?
Advanced directives are documents created to let doctors, family members and other people know your medical wishes if you become incapacitated. There are different kinds of advanced directives that will let your wishes be known. These include:
Powers of attorney
One type of advance directive is a health care power of attorney. This is used to name the person who is allowed to make medical decisions for you if you can’t. Think carefully about the person you name for this role and discuss your medical wishes with them beforehand.
A living will
Another advanced directive is your living will. In this document, you can detail your end-of-life decisions. This includes things like if you want to extend your life with medical treatment and what type of treatments are acceptable versus those that you don’t want. Examples of this include antibiotics, palliative care, tube feeding and dialysis.
DNIs and DNRs
You can have a “do not intubate” or “do not resuscitate” order in place without a living will or another type of advanced directive. This lets your doctors know that you don’t want to be intubated or resuscitated under certain circumstances.
Make sure your wishes are followed
If you want to ensure that your wishes are known and followed if you become incapacitated, then having the advanced directives mentioned here is a must. If you don’t have these documents in place now, it’s a good idea to move forward with their creation.