Patient with religious healthcare directiveAs a part of any estate plan, I always recommend some form of a health care directive. These can include healthcare powers of attorney, living wills, and other documents that may be needed to help effectuate your wishes. Each document has its own set of provisions. One area that should be addressed is your religious beliefs, especially if it could affect what kind of medical treatment you receive. Some people don’t want blood transfusions. Others want to be kept alive at all costs. The point is, everyone’s beliefs are their own. Your health care directive should make sure they are spelled out properly and clearly.

Life-Sustaining Treatment

A very important area where religion and health care directives overlap is in the area of life-sustaining treatment. If something happens to you and you are in a coma, what do you want to have happen? For some people, I can’t even finish the sentence before they say “Pull the plug.” For others, they want to be kept alive if at all possible in the hopes that a solution can be found. This is perhaps one of the most important and personal choices you can make in your estate plan. Whatever you choose, it’s important that your documents reflect your choice, not the wrong box that you checked on a website.

End Of Life Decisions

Each religion has its own end of life traditions. And each person has their own wishes as to how those end of life traditions should be carried out. In order to make sure your true wishes are followed, a health care directive should specify your wishes. They don’t need to be detailed (unless you want them to). But if these decisions are important to you, make sure they are properly spelled out. You don’t want someone else making those decisions for you.

Next Steps

Already have a Healthcare Power of Attorney but it’s been a few years and you may want to make some changes? Never even thought of it before but now think it’s a good idea? Call my office to set up a review of your document or a meeting to talk about creating one for you – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.