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Make plans now for your end-of-life medical care

Part of your estate plan is having a plan for your medical care in your final days. The way that you do this is by setting up an advanced medical directive and a power of attorney for health care. Together, these provide you with a plan for what is going to happen if you need medical decisions made when you are unable to make them on your own.

One thing that you need to do is to decide who is going to make decisions regarding your medical care if you can't speak up for yourself. This person should be given the power of attorney over your health care. Make sure that this person knows your wishes and can speak up about them when the time comes. They can't let their own feelings come into the picture when it is time to make decisions, so you might consider appointing someone who isn't related to you.

Another thing that you need to do is to get your living will together. This is a list of instructions that dictates what you are willing to have done. Typically, the things to include in this directive are life-prolonging or life-saving measures. Things like ventilator usage or intravenous feedings are some of the ones to consider when you are creating this document.

It is imperative that you think carefully about what you want. This might change over time, so you should review these documents periodically to ensure that they still reflect your wishes. At a minimum, you should do this once per year. You might also need to review it when your life's circumstances change.

Source: The Balance, "What is an Advance Medical Directive?," Julie Garber, accessed Dec. 27, 2017

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