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What is the purpose of an advance directive?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When making plans for the future, especially via estate planning, your focus often stays on how you want things done after your death. This can include important aspects of estate management and asset division.

But what about instances in your life where you might want the same sort of structure and pre-planning? This is where an advance directive may come in handy.

Who needs an advance directive?

The National Institute on Aging discusses the purpose advance directives may hold. An advance directive serves as a way for you to tell your loved ones what you want to happen in medical situations where you cannot communicate your desires yourself.

For example, if you have a degenerative illness, you may reach the point someday where you cannot physically communicate with your loved ones, such as if you cannot speak or write. If you have a mentally degenerative illness like dementia, then you may reach a point where you are not in a sound enough mind to make medical decisions.

Advance directives also serve a purpose in a world where accidents can happen at any moment. One bad car crash can potentially send you into a coma, put you on life support or cause massive amounts of brain damage.

Relieving burdens

In these situations, your loved ones could rely on your advance directive to see what you want done. You can leave specific instructions for situations where you want to stay on life support versus when you wish to get taken off. You can even specify which medical treatments you want or wish to avoid.

Thus, it ensures you get the treatment you prefer no matter what, while also removing the burden of this decision from your loved ones.