Your estate plan is there to protect you and your beneficiaries. An advance directive is a document that gives your loved ones and health care professionals information on what you want to happen if you cannot make your own medical decisions.
Your advance directive may explain the types of treatment you are okay with as well as the ones you’d like to refuse. Including this document gives you control in situations where your wishes would otherwise not be known at all.
Your advance directive lets your wishes take precedent
With an advance directive, you take pressure off those around you who would otherwise have to make decisions on your behalf. Even if you set up a durable health care power of attorney, they may appreciate having a document that goes over what you want in a life-or-death scenario. For example, you may state that you don’t want to be resuscitated if you are suffering from advanced dementia or that you do want pain relief for a certain illness or ailment, even if that means that you could risk death.
By filling out an advance directive, you’ll lead the way in your own care even if you can’t say what you want at that moment. You’ll provide the guidance that your loved ones need as they make difficult choices. Your health care power of attorney has the power to make decisions for you, but your advance directive controls those decisions. That helps keep you in control while ensuring someone is there to make decisions about scenarios you may not have considered.