Most people think of their estate plan as something that comes into the picture when they pass away. While it’s true that most of the plan won’t go into effect until then, part of it can help you if you’re incapacitated.
The health care power of attorney form is one that you might want to prioritize. This appoints someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. The person who’s named in this document can receive information from your medical care team and provide them with instructions about what to do for you.
Discuss your wishes with the person
One of the best things you can do is to discuss your wishes with the person you name. This can help them make decisions that align with what you want. The person must be able to put their wishes aside and do what they feel you’d do if you could speak up for yourself.
You can write an advanced directive document that provides your health care team instructions. If this is in place, the medical team will follow it, and a power of attorney will make decisions beyond the scope of those instructions. Some instructions, such as a do not resuscitate order, must be filled out on a particular form, so be sure you have this taken care of if any of your wishes require that.
The health care power of attorney is only part of a comprehensive estate plan. Work with someone familiar with your wishes so they can help you get everything in order. This can help your loved ones and give you peace of mind.