What is an advance health care directive and why is it important?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

It’s an unfortunate truth that time does not stop and everyone eventually grows older. For that reason, it is important that all Oregon residents plan for the future and set up support for themselves and their loved ones with estate planning.

Most people tend to think about who will receive their property when they pass away and may draft wills or trusts to fulfill their wishes. While wills and trusts are certainly very important, there are other crucial details that you should make sure to include in you estate plan as well.

Setting up a power of attorney and an advance health care directive is an essential part of the estate planning process. These documents are generally used to determine who will make health care decisions should you ever become incapacitated or unable to make such decisions on your own.

What is an advance health care directive?

By filling out the advance directive form, you select a person to be responsible for making health care decisions on your behalf if you ever become unable to speak for yourself. This person is called your health care representative. You can also can name alternates as well in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to act as the health care representative when they are needed.

The advance directive document also allows you to outline your wishes for your health care in clear terms. You can state whether you want feeding tubes or life support to be used in certain situations, such as if you are permanently unconscious, have an advanced illness or are experiencing extraordinary suffering as a result of your condition.

Since growing older is a guarantee in life, it’s important to act proactively plan through estate planning. When it comes time for you to do so, make sure you select a power of attorney and health care representative. These important documents need to be drafted and executed correctly, so consulting with experienced attorneys may be beneficial.