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Why you need a health care directive

Many aging adults have verbally given loved ones their wishes regarding medical care and treatment. If you have thought about this already and have formed a plan, you are doing better than the many people who neglect to create any kind of instruction. According to the Center for Advancing Health, simply communicating your intention to a family member is often insufficient if you want to ensure your wishes regarding health care are honored. Here are four reasons a health care directive can benefit you.

1. A living will can protect your assets, too

A health care directive is typically part of a living will that outlines all your wishes in the event of your death, severe illness or other incapacitation. Just as it empowers you to give instructions regarding the care you receive, it allows you to designate the distribution of your assets, too. A living will and the HCD contained in it are both essential to ensuring your wishes are carried out should you be unable to do so yourself.

2. Protect yourself from unwanted medical care or procedures

The most important part of your health care directive is its ability to dictate the care you want. If you are opposed to certain methods of treatment, or if you would like to request others, this is the best way to ensure your wishes are known and respected. Communicating these wishes verbally is insufficient because such information may still be subject to dispute. In written form, however, you can establish your instructions definitively.

3. Designate an authorized agent to make decisions

Another essential aspect of your health care directive is the ability it gives you to designate an authorized agent or surrogate. This means that you may name a family member, attorney or loved one and endow him or her with the authority to make decisions on your behalf. In addition to the ability to make healthcare decisions, your authorized agent may be able to execute other aspects of your living will, too, if you so wish.

4. Plan for both the unexpected and the expected

It is essential to plan for events that are both expected and unexpected. Many people put off creating their healthcare directive and living will because they assume they will not need it anytime soon. It is far wiser, however, to plan in advance and be prepared for whatever events may take place.

Protecting yourself and ensuring you receive the right medical care is easier when you create a health care directive. Contacting an attorney can help you get started on yours.

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Paul V. L. Campo- Attorney at Law

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