July 09, 2020
Fifteen year ago a Gallup poll reported that only 40% of American adults had a living will. When Gallup asked the same question this past May, not that much was different: only 45% of adults say they have a living will, which is also known as an advance directive.
Are you kidding me? An advance directive is one of the most essential documents you can have. It not only takes care of you, it is one of the most loving documents you can create for your family.
Let me explain.
An advance directive is all about you stating today how you want to be cared for if something happens that makes it impossible for you to communicate with your doctors and your family. This is not solely about old age. Any of us can suddenly become too ill or severely injured to make decisions for ourselves.
An advance directive is a written document where you spell out the level of medical intervention you want. It’s where you spell out if you want if you want to be put on life support, if you want a feeding tube, dialysis etc.
Please don’t shy away from this out of discomfort. I am asking you to stand tall in such an important act of love: By creating this document you are sparing your loved ones the burden of ever needing to make choices for you. That puts them in such a difficult position, not knowing for sure what you want. It can lead to arguments among family who don’t see eye to eye. And without knowing what you wanted, it can lead to unending questioning for the rest of their life if they did the right thing.
I know that’s not what you want. You can easily download a free advance directive valid in your state, by going through the website of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association.
An advance directive is also included in the Must Have Documents program, along with the other essential protections for you and your loved ones: a will, a living revocable trust, a financial power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for health care.
A durable power of attorney for healthcare is an essential partner to your advance directive.
A durable power of attorney for healthcare appoints someone you trust to be your “agent” who advocates for you with your doctors and care providers if you ever can’t speak for yourself (or in the case of dementia or other cognitive decline, you can’t process your choices and express your wishes.) The advance directive is the roadmap that helps your agent guide your care exactly as you want. You need both!
Ready to take care of yourself and your loved ones? Get all of your Must Have Documents today.