Earlier this month was "Be Kind to Lawyers Day," a time to celebrate an important profession. So in honor of that day, we'd like to thank all of you attorneys out there. You do good things for so many people - even when it's a not-so-fun topic.
One of the important but necessary topics we're talking about this month is health care directives. The health care directive and living will are documents that allow you to summarize to your loved ones what your wishes are during a serious medical situation.
In the event of a terminal diagnosis, the document allows you to spell how you would like to be kept comfortable and what your preferences are. For example, you could state that you don't want to be kept alive artificially for an extended period. You could also include what you'd like to have done with your remains, or whether or not you'll donate your organs.
Additionally, if you are unable to make good health care decisions anymore but are not terminal, then you can give someone, called your "agent," the powers to make those decisions for you.
These documents are incredibly important. If a person doesn't have them, then the decision is left up to the courts, making the process complicated without ensuring that your wishes will be met. So if you have any preferences in how you will be cared for, draft up those documents!
As a P.S., we recommend that you really think about who you are naming as your agent. It's not a popularity contest and isn't a fun role. It's also a huge responsibility, so perhaps you'd prefer to name a few people to make those decisions together.