As year by year passes beyond age 55, you might find yourself thinking about end-of-life issues more often. Especially if you’re now in your 60s or beyond, you may have gathered your adult children at your New York home for a discussion about executing an estate plan. Estate planning is a valuable tool that enables you to make your wishes known and to protect your assets.
Signing an advance directive may be one of your primary goals when you take steps to execute a solid estate plan. An advance directive, which goes by numerous other names in various states, addresses several areas, including what type of medical treatment you may or may not want to have during end-of-life or emergency medical care.
An advance directive is a documented decision
When you sign certain estate planning documents, such as an advance directive, you are addressing potential situations that may occur in the future. Should you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself or make decisions on your own, this document enables you to entrust these important tasks to another person or people.
An advance directive remains on file. There may never be a need in your life for the terms of your advance directive to be implemented. However, not having one and having a need for one develop when it’s too late is definitely something to consider when determining which documents you want to incorporate into your estate plan.
An advance directive can help reduce stress for loved ones
If you suffer from incapacitation, your family members might encounter challenges and much stress in trying to make decisions on your behalf if you do not have an advance directive in place. In this way, signing one may bring great comfort to your family. Instead of struggling to determine what’s best, they need only carry out the instructions you have signed in your plan.
Many people say this is a much less stressful way of going about things because loved ones feel at peace knowing they’re doing what their parent or spouse wanted.
To whom should you entrust your care?
It’s a solemn decision to sign an advance directive and not something to enter into lightly. You’ll want to think carefully about the people in your life to discern who you trust the most to carry out your instructions.
Many people often choose someone who they know has the same core values and beliefs. It’s also a good idea to speak to the person you wish to designate ahead of time to make sure that he or she is willing and able to accept the responsibility.