Even if you have your will in place, you may still be like millions of Americans who have yet to complete their instructions. Getting the care you want when the time comes could rely on having the proper directive documents ready.

Only two out of three Americans have a plan for end-of-life care, despite the fact that it remains one of the pillars of estate planning. There are plenty of documents that bump up to a health care directive, but guidance through a living will could be the best way to get the care you want when you need it most.

Instructions included

You can make your wishes known throughout your care:

  • Medical care: The care you receive should be in line with your desires, regardless of your ability to spell them out at the time. Putting your outline for appropriate treatment in writing ahead of incapacitation can ensure that doctors take measures that coincide with your values, like your rules for recitation, medications you’ll accept and the use of devices for the continuation of life.
  • Picking a proxy: Once you have everything outlined, you’ll have to choose someone to carry out your preferences. This could be the same person with power of attorney over your dealings, but you can also choose someone who might be better suited for working with your attending physicians to direct your care and make sure they meet your requests.
  • Ongoing guidance: Once you have passed on, a whole other process will begin. Your guidelines matter as much as ever, and the direction in your health care directive will still steer the ship. You can manage important decisions like organ donation, funeral preparation and burial instructions.

Get your plan the foundation it needs by filling in your end-of-life care. With a health care directive in place, you can make sure all your wishes are known.