Advance directives are documents that contain how you wish to be taken care of in the event that you cannot decide for yourself. To guide you, here are some questions you should ask yourself as you plan for you long term care:
- What are my beliefs and values regarding life and old age?
- How do I want to be taken care of?
- Who can I trust to make decisions for me when I can no longer do so?
There are two general types of advance directives:
Living wills or advance health care directives are written instructions detailing how you wish to be cared for. These are decisions that cover which care or medical assistances you want or do not want to be administered when you are no longer able to decide for yourself.
A medical power of attorney appoints a person who will make the decisions regarding health care on your behalf.
Note that both documents must comply with state laws, so it’s important to review your state’s requirements or consult an experienced attorney in creating these advance directives.
You can view more resources on advance planning on this list collected by the American Bar Association: Health Decisions Resources