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The benefits of adding advance directives to your estate plan

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2021 | Estate Planning |

A Georgia estate plan that includes a will and one or more trusts can help ensure you have a say in who receives your property after your death and when. However, a comprehensive estate plan also includes advance directives that make your wishes known regarding end-of-life medical care if you become incapacitated.

According to Georgia Living Senior Care, all competent adults should understand their medical treatment options, including the right to refuse treatment for any reason.

Living will

One of several advance directives, this document details the medical treatments you do and do not want used to keep you alive, such as the following:

  • Pain management
  • Experimental or aggressive treatment
  • Comfort care
  • Dialysis
  • Mechanical ventilation

You can also add provisions for donating your body for research and organs for donation. Once you have a living will, you should review it periodically, especially after a divorce, death of a family member, a new diagnosis or decline in health.

Health care agent

This is the person you appoint as your representative regarding healthcare-related matters, also known as a durable power of attorney. He or she can make decisions related to your medical treatment and care if you cannot. Although most people name a spouse, child or sibling, your proxy can be anyone you trust. The document details the types of decisions the health care agent can make, so it’s recommended that you discuss your wishes and perspective with the person you appoint before completing and signing the document.

Advance health care directives are a critical part of your estate plan. It ensures your loved ones understand your end-of-life choices, which can make the decisions easier for them.