You should think comprehensively when you are devising a plan for aging. Clearly, you want to leave behind a suitable legacy after you are gone. At the same time, you should prepare for the eventualities of aging. This will involve the execution of advance directives for health care.
People often become unable to communicate medical decisions during the end of their lives. To account for this, you can state your wishes when you create your incapacity plan.
An incapacity plan will include an advance directive for health care called a living will. This type of will is used to record your preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining measures.
To understand the value of a living will, think back to the case of Terri Schiavo that was highly publicized a number of years ago. She was in her twenties when she went into full cardiac arrest, and she subsequently fell into a vegetative state. She did not have a living will in place.
The young woman was married, and after about eight years, her husband wanted the doctors to remove the life-sustaining measures that were keeping her alive. Her parents balked at this idea, and the matter wound up in court for an extended period of time.
This acrimony could have been avoided if there was a living will in place, and more importantly, Terri’s true wishes would have been carried out.
In addition to a living will, there is another advance directive for health care that should be executed called a health care proxy. In some places, this document is called a durable power of attorney for health care.
With a health care proxy, you name an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
You may wonder why you would need a health care proxy if you are going to state your wishes in a living will. A living will is for the most part devoted to the subject of life-sustaining measures. Other types of medical decision-making may become necessary, and you can appoint a representative to make these decisions when you create a health care proxy.
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We have provided a basic overview in this blog post, but if you would like to learn more about advance directives for health care, download our special report.
The report is free, and you can click this link to access your copy: Smithtown NY Incapacity Planning.
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