The importance of advance care planning
Preparing for the end of life is uncomfortable for most people. But by planning ahead, you can make things less stressful for you and for your loved ones when that time comes. By simply completing advance directives, you can document your end-of-life decisions in a legally sound way.
Think of it as taking on that part of your life on your own terms. Advance Directives are a way to make your voice heard if you could no longer speak. With Advance Directives, you can express how much care you do or don’t want at the end of life. You can also name someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. There are generally three categories of Advance Directives: health care proxy, durable power of attorney, and living will.
Legal forms for advanced directives are available here for Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All states have laws regarding advance directives, so choosing the right state could be important. Documents must comply with the laws in your state. Once you make your decisions, it’s important that you sign and notarize these documents and give copies to your family, caregivers, and health care providers.
You can change or cancel advanced directives at any time provided you are considered competent and able to clearly indicate your desires, and state laws are followed. These changes or cancellations should also be signed and notarized, and copies given to your family and health care providers to ensure they’re aware of the changes.