Thinking about a time when you won’t be able to make medical or financial decisions for yourself isn’t pleasant. However, if you don’t plan for this possibility, then it may leave a stranger in charge of your assets and life.
It’s possible to prevent this with a comprehensive incapacity plan. This isn’t a single document. Instead, several documents work together to let others know your wants and needs if you become incapacitated. Important documents to include in your incapacity plan can be found here.
Your living will outlines the type of health care you want to receive or not receive if you lose capacity or consciousness. It’s a medical directive used if you are alive but can’t communicate or make your wishes known.
Do not resuscitate order
Sometimes included as part of a living will, the DNR can also be a separate document. It lists what conditions you will refuse resuscitative measures. Some people use a DNR after they are diagnosed with an incurable or terminal illness or if they have a chance of developing serious complications due to resuscitative measures.
Health care power of attorney
This is another type of advance medical directive. You use it to name someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t do it yourself. These, along with living wills, ensure your healthcare and medical treatment wishes are known and followed if you become incapacitated.
Creating a plan for incapacity
Even if you are young and healthy, having documents in place that let you list your wishes will ensure that everyone knows what you want if you become incapacitated. Be sure to learn about these documents and how to ensure they are legal and binding to benefit from them.