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4 Benefits of Advance Directives

An advance directive is a legal document that explains your wishes regarding medical care. Advance directives are important because they help give your family peace of mind, reduce conflicts, and more. Let’s explore some of the main benefits of including advance directives in your estate plan. 

Types of Advance Directives

There are two main types of advance directives: medical power of attorney and living wills. 

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives the person of your choice the authority to make important decisions on your behalf. You can assign a medical POA agent who can only make healthcare decisions, a financial POA agent who can make financial decisions, or a general POA agent who can make both types of decisions for you. 

Unlike a traditional will that leaves instructions for distributing your assets, a living will is a written statement that details your specific wishes when it comes to medical treatment. A living will can also help inform your power of attorney agent if they ever need to make any healthcare decisions for you. 

Four Benefits of Advance Directives

1: Communicate Your Wishes

The main benefit of an advance directive is that it allows you to communicate with your healthcare provider and loved ones if you ever become incapacitated. You can use the document to dictate whether you wish to be put on life support, whether you prefer not to be resuscitated, and other personal preferences.

2: Provide Peace of Mind

Incapacitation due to an injury or a progressive disease is never planned. Having advanced directives in place can set your mind at ease, because you know that you’ll be properly cared for if the unexpected happens. It also gives your family peace of mind, knowing that the care you receive aligns with your wishes. 

3: Minimize Stress

The inability to communicate with a family member who needs medical care can be extremely stressful. Making crucial healthcare decisions is difficult enough without having to worry about whether or not the incapacitated family member would agree. Advance directives help guide your loved ones so they can ensure that you receive the best possible care while also respecting your wishes. 

4: Reduce Conflict

Family members who don’t know your wishes could end up fighting over what they each believe is the right decision for your medical care. They might also fight over who should be making those decisions. You can reduce the risk of family conflicts by simply stating exactly what you want in an advance directive. It’s also a good idea to discuss your choice of POA agent and your healthcare preferences with your family ahead of time, so they know what to expect. 

Advance Directive Planning in Arizona

With all the benefits that advance directives can offer, there’s no reason to put off drafting the documents. The expert team at Phelps LaClair has been giving families in the Phoenix area peace of mind through effective estate planning for over 40 years. We can help you draw up a living will and power of attorney to cover all of your healthcare wishes. Call us at 480-892-2488 today to schedule a free consultation.  

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/18/2023). Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels

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