If asked, most older Americans would probably say healthcare is at the top of their list of late-life concerns. We all want to live as long as possible, preferably while retaining control over our medical care.
If you already have an estate plan, you can address your healthcare wishes by reviewing your documents and adding advance medical directives. If you do not yet have an estate plan, it is time to start thinking about how estate planning can secure your medical wishes.
These documents ensure your wishes are met
Unfortunately, not enough Centennial, Colorado residents know that they can retain control of their healthcare regardless of how long they live. When you have stated your healthcare wishes through estate planning, physicians must comply with your expressed desires.
Below, we will discuss two documents that empower you to assert your wishes even if you are too ill or injured to voice them out loud.
- The living will: With a living will, you can inform your family about the healthcare you desire should you become too incapacitated to speak with your medical team. You can also use the document to spell out any treatments you do not want to receive. Living wills can be detailed or generalized, depending on your needs and wishes.
- The healthcare power of attorney: With this, you can designate a trusted person to make your medical decisions if you cannot assert them aloud. The document is an ideal accompaniment to your living will. Your designated agent will use the terms outlined in the living will to make medical decisions.
It is also vital to understand that your chosen healthcare agent cannot overrule the terms outlined in your living will. Therefore, you must make sure these two documents do not contradict one another. We also recommend learning more about estate planning and advance medical directives.