Advanced directives are vital tools for communicating your preferences regarding medical treatment.
Comprehending the nuances of estate planning and the role of health care agents helps you convey your care wishes.
Select a health care agent
A health care representative is a fundamental part of your advance directives. You grant this person the authority to make medical decisions if you can no longer do so. It is a responsibility that demands careful consideration.
Choose someone who understands your core values and preferences about medical care. The person you designate may need to make tough decisions under stressful circumstances.
Communicate your wishes
An advanced directive outlines your preferences for life-sustaining treatment. Clear communication is essential to avoid any ambiguity. Engage in open discussions with your health care proxy to articulate your values, beliefs and priorities.
In California, health care professionals play a significant role in honoring advanced directives. Provide copies of your directives to your doctors so that the papers become a part of your medical records. This proactive step fosters a smoother decision-making process during critical moments.
Review your plan
Life is dynamic, and so are your circumstances and perspectives. Revisit and update your care directive as necessary. Changes in your health, family dynamics or personal beliefs can influence your preferences for medical treatment. Revise your documents to reflect your current wishes.
Despite its importance, only one in three Americans have an advance care directive. Setting up this portion of your estate planning and understanding the role of health care agents empowers you to take and keep control of your medical decisions.