Your estate plan determines what happens with your property when you die. You can name a family member or someone else you trust to serve as your representative and specific individuals to receive specific assets. A will gives you an opportunity to name a guardian for your children, while a trust could allow you to set aside assets for future generations or charitable causes.
People become so fixated on what they want to do with their assets after they die that they fail to think about their estate planning needs while they are still alive. Your estate plan can also address what happens to you during a medical emergency.
An advance directive could be an important addition to your existing estate planning document.
What is an advanced care directive?
In Nevada, adults have the option of providing written instructions regarding their medical wishes to guide their care in a future emergency scenario. An advance directive is often a part of care planning when someone receives a terminal diagnosis, but any adult could benefit from an advance directive.
If you don’t have a spouse, there is no one to speak about your specific personal wishes regarding your health care if you become incapacitated. Even if you have a spouse, they could suffer the same incapacitating accident as you or have a hard time remembering wishes that you shared with them many years ago.
Advance directives provide clear instructions and take the guesswork out of your medical treatment when you cannot speak for yourself.
What care options can you address?
Basic Nevada advance directives talk about pain management, life support and anatomical gifts. However, individuals might also have more detailed wishes. They may be comfortable with certain forms of life support but what to impose limits on others. They may agree to basic resuscitation but want hospital workers to forgo any heroic efforts to save them.
Anyone over the age of 18 may need to provide clarity about their medical issues and name someone to act as their medical agent in the event of an emergency. Adding the right elder law paperwork to your estate plan will help you derive the most protection possible from your documents.