In the steps of planning your estate, the discussion of health care decisions is likely to arise. If you become incapacitated in some manner, the only way to ensure that your needs and wants are met is with the assistance of an advanced health care directive. When you look at the history of health care decisions in the United States, it becomes clear that everyone needs an advanced health care directive.
What Can Happen Without an Advanced Health Care Directive?
If you fail to secure an advanced health care directive, you could find that your decisions are no longer in your hands. In fact, your wishes could be denied completely simply because of a dispute. Look at the Terri Schiavo case, in which a 26-year-old woman fell into a coma. Her parents and husband fought for years about the decision to remove her feeding tube. No signed document indicated her wishes.
If something should happen to you, a proceeding may occur to appoint a conservator. Unfortunately, the process can take quite a bit of time, and your wishes remain unknown even when the conservator is appointed.
What Are the Benefits of an Advanced Directive?
In setting up an advanced health care directive, you are putting a plan in place so that your family does not have to guess your wishes when you cannot express them. You can express your desire for surgical procedures, resuscitation and even organ donation in the document. Additionally, the directive allows you to appoint an individual to carry out each decision for you, acting on your behalf.
Take Steps Toward a Better Future
The document, also known as a living will or personal directive, specifies the necessary actions to be taken if an individual becomes ill or incapacitated. This document will take on legal status in most states, trumping the wishes of others.
Do you still have questions about setting up your own advanced health care directive? Are you unsure of how to draw up documents that are legal in your state? Contact us to learn more about the process. It is not as difficult as you think.