Estate planning includes making medical plans for your future, not just dividing your assets among your heirs. Two ways to do this are with a living will and a medical power of attorney.
The medical power of attorney is about turning control over to someone else. You choose the person you trust to make decisions on your behalf and declare them your agent. If something happens — you get injured, get sick or have a medical emergency — and you cannot communicate with doctors and other medical personnel, your agent does it for you.
A living will is more about determining what you want in advance. Maybe you never want the doctors to use life support. They can give you all manner of treatment to keep you alive, but if it would require life support, you don’t think that’s a high enough quality of life. You can list that and any other medical decisions you’ve already made in your living will.
Ideally, of course, you hope not to use either document. But getting them in place gives you peace of mind and makes sure that your family and your medical team will know what to do if necessary. It’s just one more aspect of estate planning to consider as you think about your future and what it may hold. With enough planning in advance, you can prepare for almost anything that may come to pass.
Now, getting all of this paperwork in place can prove complicated, and you know how important it is for you to do it properly. An experienced attorney can help you know what steps to take and what options you have.