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Do you have a health care directive in your plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Most of our readers in Washington are familiar with wills, trusts and power of attorney documents. However, one important document can sometimes be overlooked: a health care directive.

Health care directive basics

Perhaps another term for health care directive – a “living will” – is more familiar to our readers. The terms are interchangeable, but “health care directive” is becoming more favored in order to differentiate it from a last will and testament.

These days in Washington, you’ll hear the document most commonly referred to as a health care directive.

In this document, the planner provides details of what type of medical care he or she would like to receive in the event of incapacity or in some kind of emergency situation – if the person is not capable of providing those details or instructions directly.

For example, a planner may have thoughts on resuscitation or end-of-life care. Or, maybe a person has an aversion to certain types of medical treatments. Whatever the case may be, the planner can make those details known in a health care directive.

By putting these wishes in a health care directive, the planner can make sure their wishes are respected and spare their loved ones the burden of making difficult health care decisions on their own.

Many people think of estate planning as a way to address assets, heirs and beneficiaries. That is true, but health care is a big part of most comprehensive estate plans. Make sure you have your preferences stated in a health care directive.