Couples and individuals in Washington rarely want to face their own mortality, but the truth is that death and injury rarely come when you are expecting it. Estate plans are not just for elderly people and there are many facets to the plan that you may not even realize. One of those is a healthcare directive and the National Institute on Aging provides a definition of and information about this important topic.

A healthcare directive is part of advanced care planning. This is when an estate plan becomes about more than just your estate and your beneficiaries. This is the part of an estate plan that ensures that you receive the care you want if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. If you plan, you can determine what kind of medical procedures you are willing to undergo to keep you alive and who you want making the decisions about your care.

If an emergency treatment is needed to keep you alive, how far do you want medical professionals to go? Some things that are often targeted in a healthcare directive are ventilator use if your lungs are unable to work on their own, CPR if you need to be resuscitated and artificial nutrition, which refers to IV fluids and tube feeding. Comfort care is also addressed by a healthcare directive. This is important if you have reached the end of your life and there are certain types of care you want to relieve your suffering or keep you calm.

Experts believe that a healthcare directive makes a big difference for those who want to control end of life decisions. An estate planning attorney can help you set up a healthcare directive and decide who is right to make decisions for you.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.