As you get older, you may expect health complications. An advance care directive prepares you and your loved ones for medical scenarios in which you cannot communicate. If you do not know what to think about while drafting the legal document, you could make mistakes.
The American Cancer Society offers considerations and steps for those creating an advance directive. Make it clear to those most important to you the treatments you accept if you cannot speak for yourself.
Discuss your decisions
Advance directives provide a great starting place for discussing a difficult topic but consider doing more. Sit down with your friends, family and health care provider to review the contents of your directive. It helps if your loved ones not only know which medical treatments you want but why you want them.
Know your options
Did you know you have multiple options for establishing an advance directive? You may create a durable power of attorney for health care, living will and advance health care instructions. Explore each option to see which makes the most sense for your estate planning goals.
Choose a health care proxy
Part of creating an advance care directive is designating a health care proxy. This person not only has access to your advance directive but also speaks with your voice regarding health care choices. Think about someone willing to make difficult decisions, ask your medical team questions and push to honor and protect your choices. Once you choose your health care proxy, let the person know about the role and its responsibilities.
You may hesitate to think about end-of-life decisions, but pushing through discomfort could help you enjoy better mental health. With a well-written advance care directive, you keep your loved ones from experiencing guilt, uncertainty and conflict.