What Are Advance Directives, and Why Are They Important?

If you are incapacitated or unable to communicate, do you have a plan to assign decision-making responsibility to someone you trust? While it is unpleasant to think about the things that could happen in the future, there is always a risk that illness or injury could make you unable to make these decisions by yourself.

What Are Advance Directives, and Why Are They Important

You can prepare for the future by creating legal documents to manage your finances and appointing someone to speak for you in circumstances you designate. Not only do you need a living will, but an advance directive document is a way to make your wishes known.

What Is an Advance Directive?

This form outlines the type of care you want to receive so caregivers and doctors can help with medical decisions that align with your requests. Additionally, you can choose someone to speak on your behalf if you are unable to participate in the conversation due to illness or injury.

These documents are legally binding and relate to anything that you desire. For example, people often include requests for life support, resuscitation, and other medical interventions in their advance directive.

The main benefit of an advance directive is that it saves your loved ones from guessing what should be done with your medical care. You make your wishes known. Then your family members can have peace of mind in knowing that your wishes are being honored.

The Best Timing to Create an Advance Directive

When should you create this legal document? There is no reason to wait!

Sometimes, the motivation to create an advance directive is because someone has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and wants to share their wishes for upcoming treatments. But you can also design an advance directive while you are in good health.

Legal Help with Advance Directives

Learn about the two types of advance directives you can create:

  • A durable power of attorney allows you to choose a person to act as your health care agent.
  • A living will is a written document that lists the medical treatments you do/do not want.

Typically, the durable power of attorney for medical situations is the advance directive that designates a health care surrogate.

Often, an advance directive is included as a portion of a larger will or trust.

For more information about future planning, talk to our team at Bulman Wealth Group. We provide full-service solutions for your financial and legacy planning, giving you peace of mind for the future.

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