Many adults do not invest much in estate planning. They may delay the process or try to keep it as simple as possible, possibly by only creating a will. However, the average adult can benefit from a robust estate plan with an assortment of different documents to protect their interests under a variety of different circumstances.
For example, an advance directive is a document that many people choose to include in their Michigan estate plans. Advance directives, which some people call living wills, can be very beneficial for those concerned about the medical care that they may receive in an emergency. The following are some of the benefits of drafting an advanced directive as part of a broader Michigan estate plan.
Making your wishes known
In an emergency, family members may struggle to recall prior conversations in which someone clearly outlined their wishes for medical care. They might end up making mistakes about the treatment that someone should receive. Those mistakes might completely counter someone’s actual desires. An advance directive provides a clear point of reference for those tasked with making decisions on behalf of someone during a medical emergency.
Taking pressure off of loved ones
The need to make decisions about life support, pain management or even anatomical gifts can feel like an immense burden to someone already struggling with the sudden medical emergency of a family member. People may end up making mistakes or even deferring decision-making authority to someone else because they cannot recall what someone wants or do not want the pressure of making those choices. An advance directive allows families to feel confident about the choices they make regarding someone’s treatment when they are unable to speak for themselves.
A sense of peace and control
Life can change in an instant, and many people find the possibility of future medical challenges to be particularly frightening. If someone has strong religious beliefs, for example, they may worry that the decisions healthcare providers and family members make would undermine their adherence to their faith. People may also worry about becoming a burden on their loved ones or not receiving the care that they would prefer in an emergency situation. A thorough advance directive gives someone peace of mind because they know that their wishes are clear and that someone they trust will be able to follow their instructions if anything ever happens to them.
Taking the time to add additional documents to an estate plan, including an advance directive, is beneficial for people in a variety of scenarios, including those who have significant health challenges or strong personal preferences regarding medical treatment. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start putting such documents together.