As you prepare for your future in Colorado, it is important to also consider the fact that there may be an accident or injury and death can come long before you are ready. This is why it is essential for individuals of all ages, not just elderly ones, to have an estate plan in order.

According to the National Institute of Health, a big part of an estate plan is a health care directive. There are many decisions you have to make when considering how to handle your assets, your estate and any minors you have, but a health care directive can help ensure that you are taken care of in the ways that you would prefer when you cannot speak for yourself.

When you have an advance directive, you have the chance to state your desires and opinions about how your end of life care should be handled. It can be considered a living document and can be adjusted as your health or circumstances change or as you become aware of additional information about medical care.

In the event of an unexpected illness or injury, there are emergency decisions that must be made. These can range from whether you want CPR done to resuscitate you to how long you want to remain on life support. Decisions regarding your comfort care and artificial nutrition are also important to discuss. As you consider your health care directive, you should consider how you want to be treated when you are unable to speak for yourself or incapacitated to that point that you must be kept alive by artificial means, such as a ventilator.

While these are important things to discuss with your family and friends long before they are needed, it is also vital that they are part of your estate plan and filed as an actual legal document. An estate planning attorney can help you add a health care directive to your estate plan.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.