Death isn’t something we want to think about, but it is going to happen whether we like it or not. The more you plan for your eventual death the easier it will on your loved ones. Not planning can lead to expensive court costs and other issues that can cause stress and cause you to lose money. Planning for end of life medical treatment is important because you want your loved ones to know what you want if you can’t articulate what that is.
You never know when you are going to become unable to make your own decisions, so you should start planning for the inevitable right now. Drawing up a Power of Attorney is a good place to start. You can choose to only use the Power of Attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf or you can draw up a broad Power of Attorney that allows the person you appoint to make all types of decisions, including financial ones.
If you don’t want extensive medical treatments when you can’t make your own decisions, you need to state that in the documents. You can specify the types of treatments you want and you don’t want and your wishes will be carried out by the person you appoint. You can draw up the papers yourself, or you can visit a lawyer.
If you don’t want to be resuscitated, you can also include a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order, with your Power of Attorney. This is a separate document and you will include it with your paperwork. If you are only interested in appointing someone to deal with your health issues, you could set up a Health Care Power of Attorney which will allow the person you designate to make any type of medical choices for you.
Many people choose not to have extended end of life medical treatments but you need to spell this out beforehand. If you don’t get the legal documents completed before you become incapacitated, the court is going to get involved and they could end up appointing someone to handle your medical needs that you don’t want.
You need to set up a Power of Attorney document before you actually need it so you are prepared for when the inevitable happens. If you want to make sure your wishes are respected, you need a Power of Attorney in advance.