What is an advance directive?

When making an estate plan, you may initially focus on how you can set things up for the future after your death. Of course, this is a crucial matter to cover, and you want things to run smoothly in terms of transference of assets and property.

But did you know that you can actually address aspects of your life in your estate plan that cover when you are still alive? An advance directive falls into this category.

Defining advance directives

The National Institute on Aging takes a look at advance directives and how they can benefit you. An advance directive, in short, discusses what you want to happen in the event that you fall into an incapacitated state and cannot vocalize your desires on your own.

For example, if you get into a situation where you become comatose or if a doctor declares you braindead, you likely have an idea of what you want to happen next. You may want to stay on life support, or you may want your family to pull the plug in certain situations. But if you have no advance directive, you have no way of communicating these desires if you cannot speak.

How advance directives can help your family

Having an advance directive ensures that no matter what situation you get into, your family can follow your wishes and ensure you get what you wanted. It also removes the burden of having to make a life-or-death decision from your loved ones, as they will simply follow your instructions in any given scenario.

If you want to add an advance directive to your estate plan, consider consulting with legal aid to ensure you have the best plan possible.

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