Most people associate estate planning with distributing property to loved ones after they pass. Although this is an essential component of planning ahead, it is not the only purpose of creating an estate plan. In fact, there are a few documents that can go into effect while you are still alive. An advance directive, or AD, for example, details the kind of medical care you would like to receive in various end-of-life scenarios. This arrangement is solely for your benefit, but it can relieve much of the burden loved ones would otherwise have to bear trying to guess your wishes. Here, the compassionate estate planning team at Honolulu’s Ng & Niebling explains what goes into a comprehensive AD.
What to Do Before Creating an AD
Before creating an advance directive, it is wise to talk to loved ones about your wishes. If you’re not sure what those wishes are, consider seeking guidance from spiritual advisors, physicians, and anyone else whom you trust implicitly.
After deciding where you stand regarding various end-of-life issues, you must choose a health care agent (and an alternative in case he or she is unavailable). Pick someone who is caring, trustworthy, and willing to take on the role.
What to Include in Your AD
The Hawaii State Department of Health provides a sample advance directive that includes the kinds of scenarios to consider when making your own AD. For example, do you wish to receive artificial food and fluids by tube? Do you require spiritual care from a particular church or organization? Do you want standard pain relief treatment?
In general, an AD should include any preferences regarding end-of-life care. If you consider all possible eventualities when creating this document, it should be relatively comprehensive by the time it’s done.
If you need help creating or modifying an advance directive, turn to Ng & Niebling in Honolulu. For more than four decades, this estate planning firm has helped families throughout Hawaii plan ahead and navigate complicated probate proceedings in the wake of loss. Whether you need help establishing a trust or drafting a power of attorney, you can rely on them for attentive guidance. To request an estate planning consultation, visit their website or call (808) 732-7788.