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3 options for making future medical decisions

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Estate Planning

Making advanced medical decisions is a very important part of estate planning. You could become incapacitated in the future, such as if you have a heart attack. Your estate plan gives you a chance to make medical decisions in advance because you won’t be able to make them when they are necessary.

There are a few different ways that you can approach this. Let’s look at three of the most common options below.

A Do Not Resuscitate order

To begin with, one of the simplest documents is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. This simply means that, if you pass away, the medical team should not use CPR to bring you back and then keep you on life-support. You just believe that it is your time.

An advance directive

You can also use an advanced directive like a living will, which gives you the chance to spell out your wishes. You may already have thought about different medical procedures that you do not want to try or treatments that you would rather avoid. Conversely, there may be specific treatments you want to authorize. Either way, you can choose them in advance.

A power of attorney

Finally, with a power of attorney, you just authorize someone else to become your agent and make your decisions for you. This can sometimes be better than a living will because your agent will know more about your circumstances than you will when trying to guess in advance. But it is very important to find the right agent to select.

As you work your way through your estate plan, carefully consider all of the legal options at your disposal.