If you are like most people, you probably do not like to think about the possibility of being unable to make decisions for yourself. When it comes to estate planning, you do need to consider that possibility. Advanced directives are tools so that you can plan for the unexpected.
According to WebMD, there are two types of directives: Living wills and power of attorney.
The first directive is a living will. The living will includes your preferences when it comes to different life-sustaining treatments. In your living will, you can explain the types of medical treatments you do not want in various circumstances. While you may not expect to be under critical care in the hospital, your loved ones need to know whether you would want a feeding tube, a breathing tube or any resuscitation efforts.
Power of attorney
Power of attorney is the other type of directive. In this document, you name someone you trust to act on your behalf regarding healthcare or financial matters. You should always choose someone that you trust to fulfill your desires. He or she should also know you well enough to know what you may want even if you do not write it.
In addition, the person needs to strong or objective enough to carry out your decisions. For example, if you need a DNR or do not wish to have a breathing tube, your close family may have difficulty complying with your wishes.
If you do need a medical power of attorney, it does benefit you to have as many specifics as possible in writing.