Making a Positive Impact

Creating advance directives: 3 factors to consider

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Creating advance medical directives can help your family make choices that would otherwise seem quite difficult without guidance. While you may think of such a document as something only the elderly need, accidents and sudden illnesses could incapacitate you at any age and make you unable to make decisions about your medical care.

According to the Mayo Clinic, these directives can guide your doctors and caregivers regarding both long-term and end-of-life care. As you create your advance medical care documents, you may want to keep a few factors in mind that may affect the type of care you receive.

1. Naming medical power of attorney

The individual you name as your health care power of attorney will have the legal authority to make decisions for you regarding medical care. You may want to review state guidelines before choosing this individual. The person you name must let you know that he or she is willing and able to take on this role and has the ability to make difficult decisions if necessary.

2. Your future healthcare needs

Even if your health is good at present, illness or accident can change circumstances quickly. Considering these and other issues that could change your health rapidly can help you cover a variety of scenarios, such as prolonged unconsciousness or reduced mental facilities.

3. When to discuss your medical needs and desires

Choosing a time and place to discuss your advance care document can affect how those involved may feel about its contents. Plan such a decision carefully and ensure that your power of attorney and anyone else present feel comfortable with discussing your plans.

Considering an individual’s temperament, past actions and ability to act responsibly may help you choose a medical power of attorney that becomes an asset to you and your loved ones when you can no longer make health care choices on your own.