Your estate plan will include a will, but it can also include a living will. This will protect you if you wind up in a coma or otherwise incapacitated due to an injury or illness.
Your living will might include powers of attorney that let people handle your finances. You can also include an advance medical directive to guide your loved ones and medical caretakers when making decisions on your behalf.
When creating an advance medical directive, there are certain common medical decisions that you will need to consider carefully so that your loved ones understand your preferences.
How do you feel about life support?
Life support is the common phrase for the intensive medical care provided to those whose basic bodily functions have begun to fail. Life support could involve respirators that handled breathing, artificial circulation of blood or even nutrients systems like feeding tubes. You need to consider your life support preferences in a short-term medical emergency as well as if you wind up in a persistent vegetative state
What pain relief and treatments do you want to receive?
Some people without a family history of addiction may want to decline all but the most necessary pain management drugs. Others past a certain age may prefer the comforts of pain management over the potential risk of addiction if they recover. You will also want to make decisions about what kinds of interventions and care you would like to receive as you approach the end of your life.
Do you have medical wishes that reflect your religious beliefs?
Perhaps some of the most important medical instructions to leave for others are those that reflect deep religious or moral beliefs. There are people who have a strong belief that they should not receive transplants or infusions of someone else’s blood, while others may feel that it is their moral duty to donate their organs and tissues to others when they die.
Including your preferences regarding health care in your estate plan can make it easier for people to follow your wishes if you can’t speak for yourself. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you.