Day 20 of the Legacy Notebook Series
Advance medical directives provide a means of directing your medical care per your wishes in the event you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself. There are two common types of advance medical directives, a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. In some states, both of these directives are combined into a single form.
A living will spells out your wishes and preferences for end-of-life care (ventilation, tube feeding, artificial hydration, resuscitation, etc.). This document can speak for you when you aren’t in a position to speak for yourself. It also allows you to name individuals authorized to make end-of-life care medical decisions for you, in the event you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to authorize certain individuals to act as your health care proxy or agent if you are unable to make your own medical decisions. A health care power of attorney is a broader authorization than a living will. Your named health care agent or proxy can act on your behalf to make all your medical decisions (if you are unable to make them yourself), not just those related to end-of-life care.
If you work with an attorney to create your last will and testament, your attorney will likely also help you prepare advance medical directives. Alternatively, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) provides free downloadable advance medical directives for each state at their CaringInfo.Org site.
Today’s Action Items:
- Add your advance medical directives to your notebook.
- If you don’t have a directive in place yet, fill one out today (select your state from the list in the link).
thanks for reading,
P.S. Looking for the rest of the series? You can find it here.
Stronger Wallet’s Legacy Notebook series information is intentionally general in nature and covers typical scenarios. You may have special circumstances that need to be considered. Always consult a trusted advisor before making big decisions about your financial legacy. Feel free to send me questions along the way at lesley[at]strongerwallet.com.
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The guide includes everything you need to get started: a cover sheet and divider pages to set up your notebook, an overview of each topic, checklists, worksheets, and writing prompts to guide you through the process.