The future is unpredictable, and you cannot control what will happen in the days, months and years ahead. While you are not able to know what will happen, you can take certain steps that will allow you to have control over specific matters that may arise in the future. One of these steps you can take is to draft certain legal documents that provide you the ability to have a say over what will happen to your body in case of incapacitation.
If you are unable to speak for yourself in the event of incapacitation, you will likely need extensive medical care and long-term support. In some cases, you may not be able to express your wishes and preferences, and others will have to make decisions on your behalf. With a living will and other advance directives, you can have control over matters that could affect you permanently.
Types of advance directives you may need
The specific directives you may need depend on your individual needs and objectives. Two of the most common documents for medical planning as part of an overall estate planning strategy include a living will and a health care power of attorney. With a health care power of attorney, you can outline the specific treatments you do and do not want to receive. You can also outline your preferences for issues such as pain management, organ donation, life support, administration of CPR, comfort care, certain medications and more.
A health care power of attorney allows you to name a person to act on your behalf in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. This individual would be responsible for making decisions on matters not specifically mentioned in your living will. The person you choose as your agent will be acting as your advocate, and this is a decision to which you should give careful consideration.
A complete estate plan
Having certain advance directives and documents in place is an essential part of any complete estate plan. If you do not have any medical plans or health care directives in your plan, there is no time to lose in getting these plans in place. An assessment of your case can help you see what additional documents and plans may be necessary so that you can look to your future with confidence.