An Advance Directive is the universal term for how you’d like to be treated in the event of a medical emergency or at the end of your life. It’s made up of two parts:
Naming A Health Care Proxy
This person advocates for your care when you can’t. We call it a “Proxy” but it can go by different names such as Health Care Power Of Attorney or Medical Power Of Attorney (not to be confused with the financial/legal Power Of Attorney), Health Care Agent, Representative, or Surrogate.
Filling Out A Living Will
This states the types of medical treatments you do or do not want in a medical emergency or at the end of your life.
There are 3 main reasons you need this:
- In the event of a medical emergency, things move really fast and regrettable decisions can be made. This helps eliminate some of those regrets before they happen.
- Emotions always run high during stressful situations; Since you filled this out during a more peaceful time, it can cut through the emotional haze and provide a clear direction.
- If you don’t make these decisions you’re forcing someone else to bear the burden and live with it for the rest of their life.
The bulk of the effort you’ll spend when filling out these documents are the decisions you have to make.
Even though an Advance Directive is one overall task, we’re splitting it into three to make it easier to manage. For this task all you have to do is get your state’s documents, which we have on Everplans.com right here. Once it’s downloaded give it a quick read to have an understanding of what you’ll have to do and you’re done. For now.