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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Should Estate Plans Include Advance Directives?

We all hope to live long, healthy lives where we remain physically and mentally able to take care of ourselves and effectively communicate our wishes every step of the way. Life is, however, full of twists and turns. Some of them are expected and some are unexpected. None of us are immune from sudden injury or illness. One of the best things we can do is to prepare how we can for the unexpected. This can be done with putting legal protections in place such as advance directives. Did you know that advance directives should be included during the estate planning process? It’s true. Incapacity planning can and should play a significant role in your estate plan. Let’s take a look at the importance of advance directives.

Should Estate Plans Include Advance Directives?

An advance directive, otherwise known as an “advance health care directive” or “advance medical directive,” is a legal document which provides instructions as to your health care preferences should you become incapacitated and unable to speak these preferences for yourself. There are several different types of advance directives, each serving its own, unique purpose.

One type of advance directive is a living will. As a written legal document, a living will can detail your end of life care preferences should you be in a terminal medical care situation and unable to speak your own preferences. With a living will, you can specify what type of life sustaining measures you are okay with receiving. This may include being placed on a feeding tube or mechanical ventilator. Through the living will, you can be clear with your treating doctors and the medical team as to what life-sustaining care you wish to receive under terminal conditions or should you be in a vegetative state. With your family already in the difficult position of confronting your medical status, knowing your wishes can provide them a great deal of comfort in an extremely emotional time.

A durable power of attorney for health care is another type of advance directive in which you name a trusted individual to act as your agent, proxy, or surrogate. Your agent will be empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to act for yourself. Any competent person who is 18 years of age or older, other than your treating health care professionals, can serve as your agent. Just be sure to be thoughtful in your decision as to who should serve in this role of great responsibility. You will want someone who is able to make tough decisions and remain steadfast in honoring your wishes even in the midst of some difficult and overwhelming situations.

Estate Planning Attorney

Advance directives can bring you peace of mind knowing your health care wishes will be honored even if should you be incapacitated. They can also bring your family a great deal of comfort in knowing that your wishes are being honored even in some of the most difficult situations. Make sure you have a strong estate plan in place that includes advance directives. Contact Monk Law today.


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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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