Let’s face it- thinking about being in a situation where we aren’t able to speak or act for ourselves is something we’d rather not dwell on. When it comes to a Health Care Directive, most of us have the attitude of “I’ll get to that someday…when I’m older” or “I’m in great health, I can worry about it later.” Unfortunately, life happens, accidents happen and it’s good to be prepared.
It’s important to let your wishes be known to the people who are significant in your life and to your health care providers. If you’ve been to a doctor’s office or have been admitted to the hospital in the past few years, even as an outpatient, you’ve likely been asked if you have an advance directive or a health care directive. A Health Care Directive allows you to name a person, or persons, to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so at the time. It also puts in writing what your personal preferences are, not only with regard to your health care, but also:
- If you have any spiritual or religious traditions that you would like your Agent to be aware of and act accordingly;
- If you have wishes regarding cremation, burial, memorial services, funeral services and disposition of your remains; and,
- If you would like to be an organ donor.
Having a Health Care Directive also gives protection to your Health Care Agent to not be liable for decisions made in good faith on your behalf. The last thing you want is one person saying that you want “X” and another saying you want “Y”, it not only puts those significant to you in a horrible position, but what you would want to happen won’t happen if no one knows exactly what your wishes are.
Who needs a Health Care Directive? Every adult should have a Health Care Directive. Contact MZ Law to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys to discuss your health care directive and other estate planning needs.