April 16, 2012 is the Fifth Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. A day created by a coalition of health providers and insurers to remind the public about the critical importance of having advance healthcare planning.
If you do not have any form of advance directive telling your friends and loved ones how to make medical care decisions, you risk losing control of those decisions. "42% of Americans have had a friend or relative suffer from a terminal illness or coma in the last five years and for a majority of these people and 23% of the general public, the issue of withholding life sustaining treatment came up." We do not like to think about disaster, but planning can ease the burden on us and our family.
Advanced planning is important for business continuity as well. If you are a key person in the business and suddenly taken away, have you provided direction as to how to run the business or make decisions.
Good estate planning attorneys are not going to charge you extra for an advanced directive and/or living will as a part of the estate planning process. This is because the legally acceptable forms are free in order to encourage the public to plan ahead. The forms are free and encourage a frank and open discussion with your medical professionals and family about how you want to be cared for in the event of a serious illness or injury.
There is no excuse, download your state appropriate form, talk to your family and plan ahead.