It can be uncomfortable to consider what types of medical care you could need if you are ever too injured or too sick to speak for yourself. While the possibility of incapacitation is an uncomfortable thought, it is critical to consider the specific types of care and interventions you do or do not want. These instructions are an important part of any complete estate plan, regardless of your age or health.
You have the right to have the final say over what happens to your body. To do this, you will want to include creating a living will and advance medical directives as part of your estate planning efforts. Through these documents, you can control certain medical decisions even if you are unable to verbalize your preferences. You will also protect your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
What is in a living will?
A living will is a legal document that outlines the type of medical care someone would want in the event of incapacitation. It will include directives on specific types of care and interventions, including the use of CPR, ventilation, blood transfusions, tube feeding, dialysis and more. When creating a living will, you may find it helpful to discuss specific medical terms with an experienced professional in order to create a plan best suited to your beliefs and objectives.
What is in a power of attorney?
In a health care power of attorney, you will appoint someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. This person will make critical medical decisions for you regarding matters that you did not specifically outline in your living will. When selecting this person, you will want to have important discussions with him or her regarding your preferences for end-of-life care and other matters. This should be a trusted and responsible individual who will prioritize your well-being and personal wishes above all else.
Creating a strong estate plan
Creating a strong estate plan involves much more than just outlining what you want to happen to your personal property after you pass away. It is also critical to include documents that allow you to clearly outline your preferences regarding medical care in case of an emergency situation. This will ensure you get the final say over what happens, and it will protect your New York loved ones from making critical medical decisions for you during an emotionally challenging time.