Everything You Need to Know About Healthcare Directives

Imagine being in an accident or having an illness that takes away your ability to make important decisions. These aren’t pleasant situations to think about, but they do happen to everyday people who are in perfect health.

It’s always best to be prepared, which is why a healthcare directive is so important. It can help you take control of your medical treatment, even when you’re incapacitated. Let’s learn what a healthcare directive is and why you should consider having one.

What Is a Healthcare Directive?

A healthcare directive is a legal document that informs others of your healthcare wishes. If you’re ever unable to make your own medical decisions, your loved ones will use the document to make decisions for you.

A healthcare directive can be as detailed as you want. You can include end-of-life treatment, whether you want to be put on a ventilator, or your wishes about resuscitation in the event of an emergency.

You can also designate a specific person to make your healthcare decisions if you’re unable to do so. If you don’t assign a trusted person, your healthcare directive can still be shared with your healthcare team to ensure your wishes are followed.

Why Do I Need a Healthcare Directive?

You may be unable to make your own medical care decisions for several reasons, such as old age or a debilitating injury. Having this document in place will ensure you retain a level of autonomy when it comes to your medical care. 

If you don’t have a healthcare directive, you’ll still receive medical care. However, it may not be according to your wishes, so it’s important to have one just in case. 

What’s Involved in Making a Healthcare Directive?

Making a healthcare directive is all about thinking ahead. You’ll have to consider different medical and emergency situations, and what your healthcare treatment preferences are.

If you have a physician, you may want to talk with them about how your current health could impact your future. They can also help you understand treatment options for certain situations.

You may also want to think about sitting down with an estate planning attorney. Their experience can help you explore potential situations that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

Many think of the elderly when it comes to having a healthcare directive, but anyone 18 years of age and older can get one. The important thing is to have everything in writing, including:

  • The date and your signature
  • Verification of your signature by a notary and two witnesses
  • Your healthcare directives
  • The name of the designated person, if any, to make medical decisions on your behalf

Take Charge of Your Healthcare Treatment

Whether you need a healthcare directive or want to update your current one, it’s important not to wait. The caring attorneys at White & Associates can help you understand your options and prepare for the future. Learn how to get a healthcare directive by calling us at 763-241-0477 or send us a message today.