An advance health care directive is a legal document that allows you to leave instructions regarding your medical care should a fatal illness or injury prevent you from communicating these on your own. Many who use it are elderly and receive end-of-life care, but even young adults can benefit from creating one.
Anything can happen
You might want an advance directive because you do not know what will happen in the future. One day, you could be driving to work or having a good time at the beach and suddenly suffer a life-threatening accident. Through your advance directive, you can refuse medical procedures you feel strongly against or detail specific preferences, such as which organs you intend to donate after you pass away.
Knowing your end-of-life choices can also help your loved ones focus on grieving and avoid hefty medical costs. Some people put their dying loved one through expensive life-extending treatments assuming it is what the patient would want, prolonging their own and the latter’s agony. With an advance directive, your loved ones know what you want, and having the means to respect your choices until the end might help put them more at ease.
Your directives can change
As with most estate planning documents, you can update your advance directive should the need arise. You can choose to revoke it or revise the document if your preferences or medical needs were to change.
An advance directive is a crucial document that generally benefits anyone regardless of age. If you want to create one, an estate planning attorney can help ensure that it matches your requirements and aligns with current statutes and guidelines.