Before you talk to a lawyer about what type of advance directive may be best for you, you can save substantial time by understanding the types of issues the document should cover.
Start by talking to your family, doctor(s), and potential health care proxy about your medical wishes in as much detail as possible, outlining any information about the types of medical decisions that may come up at a later time based on your current health. Then, have your attorney draw up your advance directive. You and several witnesses will need to sign it.
Once it is written, store this directive with your other important documents and make sure your family and lawyer know where to find it. Also, give copies to anyone you’ve named as health care proxy, your doctor, and health care facility (such as a nursing home). In addition, you and/or your lawyer should review this document at least once every five years, or when there is a major change in your life (such as a divorce or the death of a spouse).
Informing loved ones and doctors about the types of medical care you would choose in a wide variety of situations can bring peace of mind to those most concerned with your health. Though you cannot anticipate an unexpected health crisis, you can prepare ahead of time to ensure that you are cared for in a manner that coincides with your intentions, even if you cannot make this decision for yourself.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor.