Your estate plan should be a comprehensive summary of your assets, the value of your estate and your final wishes for everything in that estate. Unfortunately, one thing that many people overlook in that process is an advanced directive. Sometimes called a living will, your estate plan should include one for the sake of your loved ones.
There are several benefits to creating an advanced directive as part of your estate plan.
Ease the burden on your family
One benefit of an advanced directive is the clarity it provides your loved ones. If you cannot make decisions for yourself, your family may hesitate or feel unsure about your wishes. An advanced directive eliminates that burden with clearly defined instructions.
Address your personal preferences
When you have personal convictions about life-saving interventions and specific medical treatments, an advanced directive allows you to address them. When you add this to your estate plan, you can trust that your wishes apply.
Eliminate any confusion
Interpretation of wishes can lead to confusion and mistakes, especially for those unable to advocate for themselves. With an advanced directive, your doctors can see your preferences for your care without anyone else’s interpretations clouding those words. This helps eliminate confusion in your treatment.
Estate planning should include more than just the details of your wishes after death. Remember that incapacitation and severe injuries may disrupt your ability to communicate, so include additional planning with an advanced directive that can speak for you when you are not able to speak for yourself.