Death isn’t something many wish to think about it. It can be sad or scary but it’s important to think about it when it comes to estate planning. Among the integral pieces of an estate plan is your medical directive. Your medical directive provides instructions for your wishes should you enter a vegetative state, become incapacitated by a terminal illness or otherwise become unable to make your own healthcare choices.
Choosing a good surrogate
An essential component of the medical directive is the surrogate. The surrogate has the key role of making health decisions for you if you’re incapable. This is not a small ask of anyone. The right surrogate should be someone you trust to respect and carry out your wishes for you. This could be anyone from a relative to a friend.
Be sure that the surrogate understands what their responsibilities are. If your preference is not to prolong life should quality of life deteriorate, they need to be comfortable doing so. Experts caution against imposing too many limitations but do recommend discussing the circumstances in which you would and wouldn’t wish to prolong your life.
If there are certain instructions you have for your surrogate, include them on your forms when you file them so that your wishes are more likely to convey.
An uncomfortable but worthwhile conversation
Thinking of your own mortality isn’t pleasant but it’s essential. Don’t leave it to chance that doctors will fulfill your final wishes by avoiding the conversation. A trusted surrogate will advocate for you if you cannot and ensures your desired level of quality of life.