Estate planning is a process that people would prefer to do quickly and then forget about. However, to truly protect yourself and your family, you probably need to frequently review and update your estate plan. If all you currently have is a will, then it may be time for you to start thinking about a living will as well. If you have a living will, checking to see if it reflects your current wishes is also important.
The decisions and opinions you outline in the living will help protect you. You can name someone you trust to make medical decisions and also outline your wishes in different medical situations. A living will or life care plan gives you space to name people to act for you and to explore your medical preferences.
What instructions should you provide?
The first and most important consideration is who you will name to act on your behalf in the event of medical incapacitation. Some people choose to name a primary individual, as well as an alternate in case that person isn’t available when you need them.
You also have the opportunity to specifically list what authority you choose to designate to them and when they have the right to take certain actions. Beyond that, you will also indicate your preference is in different medical situations. Your decisions about pain relief, life support and even organ donation will all be in one place.
Clarifying your preferences makes it much easier for the people you trust to make the right decisions for your care. Putting those wishes in writing as part of your estate plan helps protect you and will guide the people you love in an unforeseen able emergency.