Those who have served as a caregiver for their parents or grandparents in the past may understand the importance of a living will. A living will is a document discussing what someone expects to happen if they end up in a medically incapacitated state.
Those in a medically-induced coma or who experience a loss of capacity because of their age can plan ahead of time for their protection with specialized documents. However, living wills are no longer the standard in Minnesota. Instead, people now create advance directives.
What are the reasons that many adults, even those who just turned 18, might want to add an advance directive to their estate plan?
They need protection from an emergency
Someone who recently graduated high school and will soon start a career or college education could get hurt at work or injured in a car crash on their way to campus. Unfortunately, because they are an adult, the parents who likely support and care for them would not be able to have any influence on the medical care their child received.
Anyone over the age of 18 without a spouse typically needs an advance directive to have someone speak on their behalf in a medical emergency. Advance directives have replaced the medical powers of attorney that give someone the authority to access medical information and make important choices.
They want to clarify their medical wishes
Some adults in Minnesota have health issues that make them adverse to heroic efforts at resuscitation. They don’t want to undergo lengthy CPR or have the hospital apply life support equipment to keep them alive when their organs start to fail. Others would prefer that medical professionals take whatever steps are necessary to ensure both their comfort and their survival.
An advance directive provides very clear instructions on preferences ranging from opioid pain management to anatomical gifts. People can leave clear instructions about their wishes that will take the pressure off of family members and help ensure that medical professionals abide by someone’s wishes.
Taking control of one’s future needs and clarifying one’s wishes can be as important as thinking about a legacy for those who are creating an estate plan. Seeking legal guidance can help adults who are interested in estate planning to achieve these important objectives.