It’s National Healthcare Decisions Day! Do You Have Your Advance Directives?

Decision-day-2015April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). And now that you’ve met the big deadline for filing your tax return, it's a great time to turn your attention to ensuring that your estate planning documents are in place, beginning with your own advance directives.

Everyone needs current and valid advance directives.  This simple outline of the care that you wish to receive when you may not be able to communicate your wishes provides a clear and concise roadmap for your loved ones and health care providers.  This single step is so important, because your family won’t have to guess or assume what “Mom or Dad would have wanted” in the event that you cannot give direction to your family.  Your instructions can be clearly spelled out in a legally recognized document.  

We encourage you to consider taking a step forward in planning for your family’s peace of mind by making a decision on the the following — today:

  1. Determine who you wish to assign as your health care agent.
  2. Specify the type of treatment you want and don’t want under certain health care situations.
  3. Define your expectations of your level of comfort and pain control.
  4. Define how you with to be treated by health care professionals.
  5. Outline what you want your loved ones to know about your care wishes and other estate planning needs. 

One of the most important tasks that you can accomplish on National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is to identify your health care agent and ensure that they agree to follow through on your advance directives.  We suggest that you have a conversation with your selected health care agent to help ensure that your own planning decisions will be followed out according to your instructions under various possible health care scenarios.

For additional information about NHDD, please click here to visit the organization’s website. 

Then, once you have made decisions about your future care, we recommend that you meet with an estate planning attorney to review your other legal documents for up-to-date information and current beneficiary selections.  If you don’t have an estate plan, why are you waiting?

If you don’t know where to begin in the estate planning process, please click here for registration information about our upcoming educational workshops.  For additional information about estate planning and elder law in Houston, please click here to visit my website.

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