An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document expressing your preferences regarding medical care if you become injured or seriously ill and cannot communicate your wishes. You do not want to overlook this critical part of your Virginia Estate Planning.
Sadly, many people and families face tough decisions without knowing their loved one’s wishes or desires because this critical document was overlooked or delayed.
Below we briefly share the top 10 reasons our Estate Planning Attorneys give for creating and maintaining an up-to-date Advanced Healthcare Directive in Virginia.
10 Reasons to Have an Advanced Healthcare Directive in Virginia
- Life is Uncertain – Most people do not die suddenly. They face a surprise health problem, deteriorating condition, or even a medical emergency that makes it difficult or impossible to communicate their wishes for medical care.
- You are Still In Charge – Your Advanced Healthcare Directive allows you to specify your wishes and instructions for your care or refusal of care. You are still in charge of your healthcare even if you cannot be consulted directly.
- It’s a Gift to Your Loved Ones – An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a gift of clarity and peace of mind to your loved ones. They are not faced with making heart-wrenching decisions about your care and left struggling with doubt. You discuss your wishes with them and create this document in advance with their knowledge.
- It Prevents Family Conflicts – Discussing your wishes for medical treatment in advance of sudden illness or other events allows you to prepare your loved ones ahead of time. They can share their thoughts and concerns and be part of creating this document; when something happens, this advance knowledge can prevent family conflicts during a stressful time.
- It’s a Road Map for Your Medical Team – Government regulations about information privacy can complicate matters when you need fast medical care. An Advanced Healthcare Directive spells out what you want and do not want, so your medical team can act swiftly and accordingly.
- It Gives You the Means to Choose Your Quality of Life – An Advanced Healthcare Directive not only allows you to specify the medical care you desire but also enables you to avoid specific actions. For example, you can declare that you do not wish to be on life-support or to be resuscitated in certain situations.
- You Can Grant Authority to Someone Specific to Make Medical Decisions for You – It is almost impossible to anticipate every possible scenario in the future. For those situations you did not expect, you can name a Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy who can make decisions concerning your care on your behalf.
- You Can Plan Ahead for Your Final Disposition – Your Advanced Healthcare Directive can also record your wishes for organ donation or for your remains to be otherwise used to benefit others.
- It Creates Opportunities for Meaningful Conversations – Discussing possible future healthcare concerns and needs can be uncomfortable. Still, they are necessary conversations you should have with your loved ones and medical team. Creating your Advanced Healthcare Directive provides a reason to broach the subject and share your thoughts and wishes.
- It Doesn’t Take Long – Most thinking people want to plan for their future, but they end up putting it off. Creating an Advanced Healthcare Directive and other vital estate planning documents doesn’t take long, and the time is well spent planning for your future and that of your loved ones.
Get the Estate Planning Help You Need in Virginia
Promise Law in Newport News, Virginia, is ready to help you consider the critical questions about your future wishes for medical care with your loved ones. Our team is happy to meet with your family and answer questions about Advanced Healthcare Directives and other aspects of estate planning. Contact us today to learn more or to participate in our free Estate Planning Workshop.