An advance health care directive is a written instrument that describes your health care wishes in the event of your incapacity or injury. It serves to inform family members and healthcare professionals about your wishes and desires when you are unable to do so. The importance of having an advanced health care directive is often overlooked.
An advance health care directive can address several key issues, including whether or not you want doctors to resuscitate you if you stop breathing or if your heart stops, if and when to use breathing machines or dialysis, and whether you wish to be an organ and tissue donor. While many people prefer not to think about their own mortality, it is important that your loved ones know your desires before it is too late for you to express them. In addition, an advance health care directive allows you to choose an agent to act as your attorney-in-fact. Your attorney-in-fact is the person you designate to make health care decisions for you. Appointing such a person in advance often helps alleviate family tension during difficult times.
To find out how you can protect your family by incorporating an advance health care directive into your estate plan, please contact our estate planning attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri for more information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.