There are many provisions in an estate plan that may come into effect well before you pass away. Health care directives are essential in any estate plan, which is why nearly 37 percent of Americans include them, according to Reuters. With such directives, you can clearly state what services you want to receive at the end of your life, and the directives can help greatly with reducing the amount of pain and uncertainty that comes if one of your family members has to make those decisions independently.
To begin, you can give someone power of attorney over any health decisions. This gives someone the power to make the final say. However, you also want to include directives, so that person has a guide to go off of to know what you would want.
"Do not resuscitate" order
Part of the estate plan should include a DNR order, which states whether you want efforts made to revive you in the event your heart stops beating. You should provide copies of this order to your primary care physician, any doctors managing your care and the health care proxy.
Decision for life-support treatments
You can include a provision regarding a blanket statement that you would like any and all life-support treatments to potentially save your life. You can also state you do not want any should the need arise. It is also possible to specialize and only want specific treatments performed, such as the following:
- Blood transfusion
Orders for who makes medical decisions
In addition to these orders, there are numerous decisions that someone needs to make regarding your health that you do not necessarily specify within the document. Therefore, you want to assign someone as your health care proxy. To be safe, many legal professionals recommend assigning a secondary person to make decisions in the event the first proxy is not available. Make sure all this information is readily accessible in a location people know about.