Working with a financial advisor should not be all about finances as there are other areas that should be addressed as well. Yes, understanding your money and what you want to use it for is a primary objective, but ensuring that you have planned for emergencies and unforeseen health issues needs to be addressed as well. Each person over the age of 18 should have a healthcare directive and when working with your advisor, should be reviewed every couple of years to update for any life changes that have occurred. A healthcare directive is a written document that communicates to others your wishes regarding your health care if you are unable to do so for yourself. Within the directive, you name an individual who would make those health care decisions for you, that individual must be at least 18 years old.
Within the directive, you are able to make choices regarding your health care. Below are a few of the choices:
- The types of medical treatment you may or may not want
- Where you want to receive care
- Funeral arrangements
- Preferences about health care
There are other items with the directive as well, and it is up to you how detailed you would like your directive to be.
It is important to have a healthcare directive if you encounter a time when your physician determines you can’t communicate your health care choices due to either a physical or mental incapacity. You will still receive medical treatment if you don’t have a directive, but the care you receive may not follow your wishes. Without a directive, either people close to you or the physician will make your treatment choices.
The healthcare directive is a form that must meet the following legal requirements:
- Be in writing and dated
- State your name
- Be signed by you or someone you authorize to sign for you
- Have your signature verified by a notary public or two witnesses
- Include the appointment of an agent to make your health care choices and/or instructions about the health care choices you wish to make.
Once you have completed your directive, you should ensure your physician and people around you have a copy of it.If you currently do not have a signed healthcare directive, you can find one online for your state or you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you a copy.