Getting a Medical Advance Directive is not as Painful as You Think

Health is a treasure and good health is even more valuable. The idea of planning for the day or possibility of being in poor health is not easy.

After watching family members suffer for years with debilitating illnesses, I have a true appreciation for life, and the pricelessness of having good health.

My mother was stricken in her mid-30s with an illness that put her in the hospital for months at a time.  She underwent numerous surgeries, treatments and eventually confinement to a wheelchair for nearly two decades.

A few years ago, my family faced a monstrous disease – Alzheimer’s dementia. My loved one struggled with the challenges of memory loss. As a caregiver, I suffered watching this once fiercely independent woman become more childlike than ever.

Putting a Medical Advance Directive in place is important:

1. Get a Medical Advance Directive while you are well. In this document, you can: name an agent to handle your medical/hospital matters; and, indicate your healthcare preferences (this is commonly referred to as a ‘Living Will‘).

2. Let loved ones and medical professionals know how you wish to be treated – put it in writing.

3. Do not wait until something happens, it may be too late for you depending on your illness (you may not have capacity to sign such a document).

Many things happen in life that we have little or no control over. Putting a Medical Advance Directive in place is something you can do.  What are you waiting on?

aquanetta-j-betts-photo-aug16Aquanetta J. Betts is an attorney licensed in Washington, DC and Maryland. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of estate planning and charitable giving.

Connect with Aquanetta J. Betts, Esq., on Twitter@AquanettaBetts.

The information in this post is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about your particular situation.

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