Health Care Advance Directives
I have always placed a high value on Health Care Advance Directives and now during this crisis feel even more strongly. It is important to make these decisions when you are well enough to discuss your wishes with your agent and make sure your agents will serve.
Health Care ProxyA health care proxy is a document in which you can select an agent to make binding health care choices on your behalf in the event you are not able to do so. It is always better to make a decision as important as this in consultation with your selected agents so that you can be assured that they will carry out your wishes. When a loved one gets too ill to make their own health care decisions can be very stressful on family and friends and is certainly not the time for family squabbles. The obvious individuals with whom you may have had many discussions about your wishes are not always the person with whom a hospital will take directions. Here are some examples which, if not properly documented, could lead to fighting and your not getting your wishes despite many discussions: 1) You have lived with your significant other for 20 years but never married and have two children who the hospital recognuzed 2) You separated but never legally divorced from husband and did not change your document 3) You have two children with differing views on health care and really only trust one, but never documented this. If you end up in a hospital, the social worker will pay you a visit and ensure you have this in place. These are important choices and should made with as much time as your Last Will and Testament. It also must be properly witnessed and notarized or e-notarized.
Living WillA Living Will is a document which designates who will make the ultimate decision as to whether to terminate your life or to take life preserving measuring. This is certainly a decision to be made by someone that knows your views and wishes and will respect them. This decision is not an easy decision. So who should you choose? I suggest speaking with whomever you are thinking of choosing and seeing his or her reactions to your wishes before selecting any agent. Like a health care proxy, this is an important document to have in place and must be done when you are competent. The document must be properly witnessed.