There are certain types of advance directives that you can create to express your medical wishes. For instance, some people want to use a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). Others want to specify that they should only get certain types of care in very specific situations.
As you do your estate planning, you can certainly write out these types of instructions. This can help to give your family members peace of mind since they know what you wanted, and it can certainly help to make sure that your wishes are actually followed. You never know what the future holds, but you can get your medical plan down in writing.
Is a power of attorney better?
One thing to consider, however, is that you may want to use a medical power of attorney instead. By doing this, rather than writing out the instructions for your medical team, you just pick an agent to make those choices for you. The power of attorney is what gives them the legal standing to make decisions that your medical team can then follow.
One of the disadvantages to this is that it puts pressure on the person you chose as the agent. Some family members may not feel that they want this type of responsibility.
But the big advantage is that the agent can then talk to the medical team and make complicated decisions. They don’t have to simply follow a list of instructions. You may not have anticipated everything when writing out those instructions, but your agent can analyze the situation at the moment and make the best decision for you.
No matter which document you choose, it’s important to get your estate planning done well in advance. Be sure you know what steps to take.