Many of us in New Jersey have some very specific requests for the ends of our lives, but if we want them fulfilled, we have to let our families and loved ones know about them now. It is important to work with both an estate planning attorney and family members to ensure that our final wishes are not ignored.
The only way people are going to fulfill our wishes is if we tell them what we want. Do you want doctors to do whatever they can to save your life, regardless of cost or risk? Do you want doctors to just make you comfortable but allow you to die without taking any extraordinary measures? Family members must be aware of these requests and estate planning attorneys can memorialize these requests, making it impossible to deviate from the final plans you have so carefully made.
Estate planning can encompass your health care, too. You can designate someone to make your health care decisions for you if you are incapable by creating medical proxies. Or, if you don’t trust your relatives to follow through with your requests, you can work with an estate planning attorney to make an advance directive or living will that will explicitly name when you should be removed from life support, what medical treatments cannot be undertaken following an accident and how to proceed with a course of treatment if you are unable to make your own decisions.
Determining how you would like your body to be treated following your death can also be covered in your estate planning. If you want to be cremated or are opposed to being embalmed, you should include this in your estate planning documentation.
Estate planning allows you to take control of the final days of your life and, if you have any specific requests about the end of your life, you must make sure that your friends, family and lawyer knows about them.
Source: Forbes, “Are You Ready For The End Of Life?” Carolyn McClanahan, Dec. 12, 2012
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