While at first glance, an advanced care directive appear to be in place for a patient, in truth they are most helpful to family members and loved ones left to make difficult end-of-life decisions without their sick loved one’s input.
When a parent or other loved one suddenly becomes unable to make medical decisions, the family must come together not only to discuss, but ultimately pick a course of action. By having an advanced care directive in place, you may be able to eliminate and minimize family fights which can irreparable affect family relationships.
In an advanced directive, you can dictate in what conditions you would want to or not want to be kept alive. You could indicate if you would want to be hooked up to a breathing machine or resuscitated if your heart stops. This gives a road map to the family should something happen to you.
The state of Tennessee has a form available for those who want to lay out their wishes for their family. A person may also appoint a health care agent to make decisions on their behalf. This person would then be charged with carrying out the wishes of the advanced directive. If there is no advanced directive, they would be singularly responsible for deciding how this loved one would want to proceed.
Since end-of-life decisions can tear apart even the strongest of families, these forms can be a major asset during a difficult time. A family can be sure they are not making the wrong decision if they choose to take a parent off life support, for instance. By letting your wishes be known before you become incapacitated, you can be sure that your family will come together and not be ripped apart by your health.
Burkhalter & Burkhalter can work with you to have these difficult but crucial conversations. As estate planning attorneys, we can help facilitate these decisions and ultimately leave your family and loved ones with a plan in place should your health deteriorate. Call the office today for your free, initial consultation.