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Don’t overlook the importance of health care directives

| Dec 20, 2019 | Estate Planning

Do you have a document in place directing how you want your health care to be managed if you’re unable to speak for yourself? Known as a health care directive or medical power of attorney, this important document helps explain to the powers that be exactly what you do (and don’t) want to happen to you — and who should be in charge of making any decisions on your behalf.

Yet, two-thirds of Americans don’t have anything like this in place. If you don’t have a medical power of attorney in place, that means:

  • You are missing an opportunity to make certain that your wishes regarding your health care are clearly understood.
  • You have no one designated to make decisions on your behalf — which can lead to conflicts between your family members and between family members and hospital staff whenever there are differences of opinion.
  • If you have to go into extended care and are unable to make your own decisions, you have no guarantee that someone you trust will be put in charge.
  • You may be left to linger on artificial life support when you would prefer to be allowed a more natural ending.
  • If you wish to be an organ donor after your death, there is no one with the clear authority to grant permission to harvest the organs.
  • It may not be clear what you want to be done with your body after death — which means that you may not get the services or the burial that you desire.

Estate planning isn’t just about passing on your assets after you are gone. It’s also about making sure that you have the quality of life — and the ending — that you desire. If you’re not prepared for all possibilities, our office can help with your estate plans. Contact us today to learn more.