A: No one likes to think about being in a condition where you cannot communicate and/or make decisions for yourself, especially if you’re in the prime of your life. But, getting your documents finalized now is essential to making sure that your wishes are honored. This is your way of giving your family peace of mind and alleviating one more burden from what is a very difficult time.


Another term for a Living Will is a Health Care Directive. A Health Care Directive is a document that provides your own written instructions to healthcare professionals as to the treatments you’d like to receive, or not receive, in the event that you are unable to make decisions. So, as you can see, it’s a pretty important document for everyone involved.


Now that you know you may need one, here is what you need to do.


Start by thinking about your care preferences. Then, choose someone you trust to make medical treatment and other personal care decisions on your behalf. This person is typically referred to as an agent. Next, open the lines of communication with your loved ones. Provide a paper copy of the Health Care Directive and Medical Power of Attorney to your primary healthcare providers, and of course, a copy to the person you chose to make decisions on your behalf, your agent and don’t forget to keep the original in your own files. Should an emergency arise, this information needs to be readily available so your loved ones can respond quickly. To feel certain that you’ve taken all the necessary steps, I suggest working with your attorney to draft the proper documents and to understand all the legal considerations.


It’s also a good idea to share your thoughts with your loved ones about your future care. Keep in mind your preferences may change over time, so you should have an ongoing candid discussion with loved ones — especially the person you designated to make your decisions.


This is not an easy topic to discuss but it is an important one. To feel certain that you’ve taken all the necessary steps, I suggest working with your attorney to draft the proper documents and to understand all the legal considerations. Or, if you’d like to talk more in depth about your financial planning needs, please give us a call at 855 488-9536 weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Do you have a living will?  If so, what did the process of preparing it look like?