What are advance directives and how important are they?

What are advance directives and how important are they?
What are advance directives and how important are they?
William T. Corbett, JR.

When thinking about your will, you may start to wonder what would happen in an emergency situation. If you get hurt, you could be in the hospital and unresponsive, which would mean someone else would have to make medical decisions for you.

Learning about advance directives, as well as writing out your own, can help you if you want to make your wishes known.

Making it official

According to Kiplinger, although you may have some idea of what decisions you want doctors to make if you cannot communicate with them, you should take care to write down exactly what advance directives you want. Having these directions in writing can mean the difference between the doctors following your wishes or not.

These documents often contain a number of directives, such as whether you would like doctors to resuscitate you or restart your heart in the event of an emergency.

Knowing the uses

While you may assume that you would have to wait to make a will when you are already seriously sick, you never know when you may need it. A sudden car crash or an accident at work could leave you in a coma or otherwise unable to express your opinions.

Being proactive and crafting advance directives that specify what you want can help your family and any medical professionals to know what to do.

Finding the right person

When choosing a health care power of attorney, you should pick someone who has your best interests in mind and knows what you want if you cannot choose it yourself.

Thinking seriously about what you want for your advance directives may help you decide what steps to take next while planning for your future.

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