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Who makes healthcare decisions when you can't?

Planning for the future is a difficult task, especially as it pertains to your healthcare. How can you know what you will need in the years ahead? It is impossible to know what will happen in the future, but taking steps to plan for the future can provide security and peace of mind. 

With a living will and other important documents, you can outline your wishes regarding medical care and other issues in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. If you have an estate plan, but don't have a living will and haven't named a power of attorney for healthcare, it's a good idea to speak with an estate planning attorney about adding these documents.  

Why do I need these documents?

In reality, everyone should have a power of attorney for healthcare and other protections in place. Not only does this allow you the ability to decide what kind of medical care you want, it can provide peace of mind for loved ones during a difficult time. End of life decisions are never easy, but you have the right to make these decisions for yourself while you are able-bodied and competent. The process to draft these documents takes very little time and comes with many benefits.

What exactly do I need?

There are two separate documents that you would be wise to include as part of your estate plan, including:

  • Living will: A living will has nothing to do with the distribution of property, but rather allows you to dictate what medical care you want or do not want in case you are unable to express these wishes yourself. This includes the use of lifesaving measures and resuscitation.
  • Power of attorney for healthcare: With this document, you can name a person to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are not able to speak for yourself. This person can make decisions on matters that your living will does not specifically address.

It can be a frightening prospect to consider the various serious health issues that you may face in the future. However, it is always better to have control over what happens and make your wishes known.

It is your body, and you have the right to decide what happens to it. With both a living will and a power of attorney for healthcare, you can protect your interests and have confidence in the future.

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