Going through estate planning often serves as a massive headache. It takes a lot of time, money and planning to get your affairs in order, and the bigger your estate, the more effort it will take to set everything straight.
However, you should not just focus on what happens after your death when it comes to estate planning. You should also include things that can manage your life in situations where you cannot speak up for yourself. An advance directive serves as one potential tool to help you reach that goal.
What is an advance directive?
The National Institute on Aging discusses the purpose of an advance directive. In short, it acts as a set of orders for other people to follow in the event that you can no longer take care of your own healthcare decisions. Advance directives come in handy if you end up comatose, in a vegetative state, suffer from brain damage or lose coherency for a period of time due to physical or mental illness.
Advance directives let you set up exactly what you want to happen in different medical situations. For example, you can let your family know that you want to stay on life support in the event of a coma, but perhaps you want to get taken off in the event of permanent, irreversible brain damage.
Who does it benefit?
Not only does this serve a good purpose for you and allow you to rest at ease knowing that your needs will get met, but it also helps your loved ones. It removes the burden of making these tough calls from them, as they simply need to follow the advance directive instead. Thus, consider speaking to legal aid about setting up an advance directive as soon as you can.