No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario or end-of-life care, but it is essential to plan for it. Health and financial directives are legal documents that outline your wishes in the event that you cannot make decisions for yourself anymore.
While such topics can feel challenging to think about, these legal directives provide peace of mind and ensure that your family and medical professionals follow your wishes.
What are health and financial directives?
Health directives are legal documents that include information about your medical treatment if you become incapacitated and cannot communicate your wishes. A health directive can consist of a living will, a do not resuscitate order (DNR) and health care power of attorney. A living will specifies the treatments you would like to receive or not receive, and a health care power of attorney designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf when you cannot.
Similarly, financial directives are legal documents that outline your needs and wants regarding financial matters. They can include a will, a living trust and a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney designates someone to manage your finances if you cannot.
What are the benefits of these documents?
These documents provide peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones and medical professionals will follow your desires. Without health and financial directives, your loved ones may have to make difficult decisions on your behalf without knowing your exact wishes. Additionally, without a durable power of attorney or living trust, the probate court process may tie up your assets, which can become a lengthy and expensive ordeal.
Setting up this vital safety net can save your loved ones from making difficult decisions on your behalf in the future.