We all face aging and possible illness as a part of life. While various healthcare technologies and medical breakthroughs have helped extend the average life expectancy, people are far from immortal. Like it or not, we must accept the fact that these human bodies, no matter how well we care for them, eventually break down.
When it is time to make some of those important health care directives and decisions, don’t be left in the dark. Take some time now to map out plans for the future, no matter how healthy you are, and you’ll experience less stress you do find yourself with the need to do this important work:
Think about life insurance
Life insurance isn’t just for you, it’s for those that you love and want to care for as well. Taking into consideration some things like your age, your current state of health, and what kind of coverage you need to wipe out debts and liabilities for your loved ones will help you determine what kind of coverage you need. Comparing term life insurance vs whole life insurance policies is a great place to start. You can determine if being able to cash out your policy at the end will benefit you more than the need for coverage for a finite period of time. Talk to your financial advisor to decide which of these plans is best for your situation.
Draw up a will
A will is a legal document that offers protection and jurisdiction of your worldly possessions, your financial accounts, and any other aspects of life that you wish to have a directive for. It is protection for your loved ones as well; an executor can easily handle these details and appropriate property and financial assets to those that you wish to give them to. This will be less stressful for those that you leave behind in the event that they are left trying to clean up your estate. Other aspects of a will can include end of life decisions such as hospice care instructions, do-not-resuscitate orders, and organ donation wishes. These days, it is easier than ever to draw up a will, but if you wish to make sure it is a legal and binding document, consult a lawyer or other legal expert to ensure that you have written it correctly.
Make a list of important contacts for friends and family
Nothing is more frustrating for family members than trying to slog through paperwork and household items to find important papers and contacts after you are no longer able to govern your affairs. Assigning a power of attorney to a member of your family or a trusted friend will give you the assurance that your healthcare wishes and directives are carried out. You’ll want to make sure this person knows where all of your important legal documents are, as well as how to contact your lawyer, medical care team, and any other executors of your will that you have in place. Knowing this information ahead of time will help everyone cope better with your health situation and make things run more smoothly.
Talk to friends and family about your wishes
If you are lucky enough to have your health now, it may not seem necessary to sit down and share healthcare directive wishes with family and friends. Nothing is further from the truth; unexpected medical events happen every day, and when you and your loved ones are unprepared to handle them, it can be even more emotional and traumatic for everyone involved. Talk to your friends and family members about your plans for the future, and make sure that they understand what your wishes are. Get assurance from trusted members of your inner circle that they will be carried out, and get on with the business of living life while having this important information in place.
Your life and your health are important, and so is planning for the future. Cross this planning session off your list and then enjoy your time with people and activities that you love!