When you are setting up your estate plan, you need to make sure that you are including all components. You can’t focus only on the will because there is so much more to an estate plan than just that. One important thing that you need to think about is who knows what your wishes are for your final days.
Your health care is an important factor that can have a positive or negative effect on how you enjoy your life. Some people feel very strongly about certain types of medical care. For example, some people don’t want resuscitation and others can’t stand the thought of not giving it a shot. In both of these cases, the living will and a power of attorney for health care can be very helpful.
A living will is a set of instructions for medical care. You can outline what you want and don’t want. Things like artificial nutrition, hydration and life support. Remember that in almost all cases, medical professionals do have to follow these instructions so they should be up to date and reflect your current wishes.
Your living will and the person you give power of attorney for health care will work together to get your medical care where it needs to be. Your health care agent should be someone who will do what you want without having any selfish motives. This can be hard for family members who want you to remain alive, so some people opt to have someone outside of the family handle these decisions.
In all cases, you need to make sure that you have this portion of your estate plan written out in a legally enforceable way. This can make life a bit easier for your loved ones when they are dealing with the stress of your failing health.
Source: AARP, “Advance Directive: Creating a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney,” accessed March 22, 2018