It’s not something people like to think about, but bad things can happen to anyone at any age. Whether it’s the result of a car accident, a surgery gone wrong, a stroke, or progression of dementia, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot make decisions for yourself. If you fail to plan for these scenarios, then you’re not just missing the opportunity for your wishes to be followed. You’re also placing a burden on your family who is already grieving the situation. Powers of attorney and an advance directive are steps you can take to ensure your wishes are followed and decrease stress on your family.
•Powers of attorney allow you to name a representative to make healthcare and financial decisions in the event you cannot make those decisions yourself.
•An advance directive allows you to express your wishes about medical treatment options and end-of-life decisions.
Additionally, since federal and state laws impact who can receive medical information without your written consent, completing a HIPAA authorization form will ensure that your chosen representative can obtain information from your medical provider.
If you do not have incapacity planning in place, then time and money will be wasted if your family has to go to court to decide who will become your guardian. By planning ahead for the possibility of becoming incapacitated, you’ll save your family this stress, time, and money. Perhaps even more importantly, your choice to plan ahead means you’re the decision maker for these important issues. It’s your life, so It should be your decision.