Do I Need an Advanced Care Directive?
4 min read

Do I Need an Advanced Care Directive?

What's an Advanced Care Directive? What are the benefits of having an advanced care directive? Here are the top reasons why you need an Advanced Care Directive as part of your estate plan! Continue reading to learn more!

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An Advanced Care Directive is a legal document that communicates your wishes in the event that you become seriously ill or unable to communicate your healthcare choices. Unlike a Will or Trust, an advanced care directive becomes operational while you are still living. Making an advanced care directive can greatly ease your mind by providing clarity and control over your future medical decisions and end-of-life care. In this article, we'll show you the top reasons why you need an advanced care directive as part of your estate plan.

  1. Personal Control and Autonomy

Many people fear not being able to control the medical care they receive at the end of their life.

An advanced care directive allows you to make decisions about your own medical care and treatment while you're still mentally competent. It ensures that your preferences and values are respected, even if you become unable to communicate your wishes later on. Knowing that your wishes are documented and legally binding can alleviate anxiety about potential medical scenarios. This sense of control can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

  1. Preventing Family Conflict

When someone reaches the end of their life or faces a serious medical challenge, tensions tend to arise between family members. They often have different ideas about what healthcare interventions you would and would not want. The best way to handle these tensions is to prevent them before they arise. When your preferences are clearly outlined, your family members won't have to guess or argue about what you would want in a medical situation. This can prevent potential conflicts among your loved ones during times of stress.

  1. Relieving Burden from Loved Ones 

Speaking of times of stress, one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is a way of knowing exactly what your wishes are so that they do not have to grapple with difficult choices. An advanced care directive relieves your loved ones of the burden of making difficult decisions on your behalf without clear guidance. It eliminates the guilt or stress they might experience if they were uncertain about your wishes. Most advanced directives can spell out your wishes in as detailed a way as possible, which takes away the burden on your family.

  1. Adhering to Your Values

Many people have religious, spiritual, and personal values about how they want to be treated if there is a medical situation. Advanced directives allow you to state what your beliefs and values are and how they should be reflected in your medical care. This allows for your treatment goals to be consistent with your cultural and spiritual values. If there are any procedures you would not want to be considered, the directive will make sure that your wishes are followed. Without an advanced care directive, doctors and your family will have to hash out the treatment plans that they feel are best, without your input.

  1. End-of-Life Decisions

Many people have preferences for end-of-life care, and some people even discuss them with their loved ones, but if these preferences aren't in writing, there is no guarantee they will be followed. Do you want to consider organ donation? Would you want life-sustaining treatment if death is inevitable? What kind of palliative care do you prefer? An advanced care directive will give you control over your final days.

  1. Relieving Loved Ones of Guilt

Family members who have to make end-of-life decisions often agonize about their choices. Sometimes they are plagued by guilt for years after their loved one's death. When your loved ones know you are the one who made decisions about your care, they won't be left to second-guess their choices or worry about whether they are doing the right thing for you.

  1. Legal Standing

When you use a company like FastWill to create an advanced care directive, you are creating a binding legal document. It will be accepted in court and will be binding on the medical professionals who are responsible for your care. That's why an advanced care directive is a better choice than simply leaving a letter behind with your thoughts. An advanced directive gives legal standing to your wishes, ensuring that medical professionals treat your instructions as orders, not as guidelines.

  1. Comfort and Dignity

Everyone wants their final days to be as dignified as possible. If you are concerned about how you'll be treated when you can no longer communicate, creating an advanced care directive will allow you to have control over those final moments.

  1. Promoting Communication

While creating an advanced care directive, you will be able to have meaningful conversations with your loved ones about your values, beliefs, and priorities. This can strengthen your relationships and make it easier for your loved ones to understand the decisions you've made. You should emphasize that you are making these decisions now so that your family won't have to make hasty decisions about your care later. For many families, this gives them a great sense of relief since they can then focus on supporting you emotionally rather than worrying about medical choices.

In essence, an advanced care directive empowers you to take control of your medical decisions, ensuring that your wishes are known and respected, while also offering comfort to your loved ones during challenging times.

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