It is impossible to know what will happen in the future, but there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones in the years ahead. In addition to an updated will and complete estate plan, you may also protect your interests by drafting advanced directives for your assets and health care.
Through a health care power of attorney and a living will, California residents can outline their wishes for health care and end-of-life care. While these are not necessarily fun things to think about, taking this step can provide you peace of mind and save your loved ones from making difficult decisions on your behalf.
Types of advanced directives
The advanced directives you need to include as part of your estate plan will depend on your goals and objectives. No two estate plans are the same, but you may find it beneficial to include the following elements to protect your interests:
- Living will: In a living will, you can outline your instructions for the medical care that you wish to have in case you are unable to speak for yourself due to illness or injury.
- Health care power of attorney: With this type of document, you can name a person to make decisions in case you are not able to speak for yourself. This person would have the authority to make health care decisions for you.
When you have these things in place, you can know that the health care you will receive will line up with your beliefs, objectives and family needs. It is your body, and you have the right to decide what will happen to you in case of incapacitation. No matter your health, your assets and your family situation, you would be wise to have either a living will, a health care power of attorney or both.
Why you need a custom-tailored plan
Every estate plan should be unique to the person. Yours should match your needs, religious beliefs and legal objectives. As there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan, you would be wise to speak with an experienced attorney regarding the advanced directives you need to protect your rights and interests.
You can begin the process of ensuring you have an updated estate plan and the necessary protections in place by seeking a complete evaluation of your situation. If you do not have advanced directives as part of your plan, you would be wise not to wait any longer.