When you are making preparations for the future there are things to consider outside of the purely financial realm, and one of them involves health care choices. There may come a time when you are unable to make medical decisions on your own due to incapacitation. If you do not state your wishes in a legally binding manner beforehand, these decisions would fall into the hands of your next of kin.
In addition to the fact that it is very difficult to make sensitive decisions on behalf of another individual without any input from this person, family members could disagree about the correct course of action. At a time when they should be pulling together under difficult circumstances the last thing anyone needs is an acrimonious family dynamic. This is well demonstrated by the case of Terri Schiavo that was highly publicized during the early part of the last decade.
The way to protect yourself and those that you love is by executing documents called advance health care directives. The two advance directives that are widely utilized are the living will and the durable power of attorney for health care.
With a living will you state your wishes regarding medical procedures that you would accept or deny if you were to become unable to communicate your decisions in real-time at some point in the future. The question of the use of artificial life support systems is generally central to these documents.
The durable power of attorney for health care involves the appointment of a representative who is empowered to make medical decisions in your behalf should you become unable to make them on your own.
Advance health care directives are an important part of any modern holistic plan for aging. If you would like to learn more about them, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced Campbell, California elder law attorney.