As part of your estate planning, you may want to set up an advance directive. It works along with the rest of your plan to make sure that you get the medical care you need as the end of your life approaches.
Essentially, the advance directive is a list of your pre-approved medical care options. If you don’t want doctors to use life support or resuscitate you, for instance, you can put that in the directive. No one can override it. Drafting this document in advance ensures that it really reflects what you want and that you are prepared for the unexpected.
If you think that you’ll never need one because you’re in very good health and you expect it to stay that way, it’s important to consider these four key reasons why you may need the document after all:
- You could wind up in a coma after an accident or a medical emergency, like a stroke.
- You could get seriously injured in other ways, such as suffering brain damage or a traumatic brain injury.
- You could develop severe dementia as you get older; it can happen to anyone.
- You could become terminally ill and the disease may make it harder and harder to communicate your wishes.
The key is to remember that you simply cannot anticipate what the future holds. It’s impossible to know, and there are way too many factors in play. What you can do, though, is plan for it. By looking into your estate planning options early, you guarantee that you and your family will be ready for whatever happens.