The Kindest Gift You Can Give Through Your Estate Plan Is A Medical Directive
Creating a Last Will and Testament and/or an Estate Plan is a forward-thinking and loving act. However, within your estate plan, the kindest gift you can make to your loved ones is to remove the burden of having them make difficult decisions about your health care should you become incapacitated. A Medical Directive created by you while you are still of sound mind and body takes all the guesswork out of how you wish to be treated at the end of your life.
Sometimes the term Advance Directive is used interchangeably with Medical Directive. Despite the name used, it’s a legal document that covers health care and protects your wishes at the end of your life.
A Gift For The People You Love
Planning for the end of your life is for you, yes. But ultimately it’s about your children, your spouse or partner, your parents. It’s about the feelings you have for the people you love. The gifts you leave them when you are gone in terms of money and possessions will be appreciated. However, relieving your loved ones of the most difficult healthcare decision-making will be remembered and could even serve to inspire them to take the same actions in their own lives.
Two Parts To A Medical Directive
With the coronavirus continuing into the third year and in the news every day, more and more people are realizing the importance of making the end-of-life healthcare decisions. There are two parts to creating a Medical Directive. First, you designate someone you trust as your medical power of attorney. This person can make decisions for you if you can’t.
The other part is called a living will. In this document you put in writing specifically how you should be cared for by health professionals. Include which treatments you want if you are dying or permanently unconscious. In both cases, you can accept or refuse medical care and the person you designate to act on your behalf must be aware of your choices. You can include instructions on the use of dialysis and breathing machines; if you want to be resuscitated or not when your breathing or heartbeat stops; whether you want tube feeding or to donate organs or tissues.
Without question, the most important decision you make when creating a medical directive is designating the person who can legally make health care decisions for you if and when you cannot. You want to know that you can trust them not to be dissuaded from your wishes by other well-meaning loved ones.
Estate Planning Not Just For The Rich
As the coronavirus has clearly shown us, estate planning is not just for the rich. It’s not just about the value of what you own. It’s about making decisions that no one else wants to or should have to make. It’s your life and only you know how you would want to be treated medically if you were in a condition in which you could not make decisions. Imagine the relief your loved ones would experience. The experience is one I have been privileged to witness time and time again among our many clients. This is a decision that is best enacted sooner rather than later. Give our office a call if you would like to add a medical directive to an existing estate plan or if you would like to establish and estate plan for your loved ones.