Most people don’t want to think about let alone discuss with others their end-of-life decisions. It often takes a well-publicized news story or the experience of a loved one to encourage someone to take action. Recently there has been a lot of news coverage regarding when to take someone off of life support. Shouldn’t it be your decision and not that of hospital staff, the law or even family?
A 2006 California research study found that the as people age, they are more likely to have end-of-life wishes in writing; i.e. an Advance Health Care Directive, however many people go without one. But having your wishes in writing alone is not enough. 84% of people surveyed thought their agent, who will act pursuant to the Advance Health Care Directive, had a good idea of or knew their wishes exactly, although only 29% had ever had a serious, in-depth conversation about their end-of-life care.
Executing an Advance Health Care Directive involves taking a proactive step; having the power executed as you wish maybe most important. It is necessary to determine what kind of care you want or don’t want; to find an agent who understands your wishes and is comfortable making such decisions; it is necessary to know your state’s laws; to execute an Advance Health Care Directive and lastly, to revisit your directive every couple of years to make sure it is still in line with your current wishes.
To guide you in making decisions for end-of-life care and selecting an agent as well as to help facilitate a conversation with your agent, you may consulthttps://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/resources/health_care_decision_making/consumer_s_toolkit_for_health_care_advance_planning.html
An Advance Health Care Directive is a document included in our Estate Planning Portfolio. Schedule your complimentary thirty minute consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the estate plan for your personal situation by visiting our website: http://falkandcornell.com/contact-us/.