When dealing with estate planning, many of the things you take care of have to do with how you want things handled in the future after your death. This can include how you want your assets and estate divided and what you want your loved ones to do with your body.
But you can also include things in your estate plan that handle your wishes when you are still alive, but incapacitated in some way. An advance directive serves as one of these things.
The basic use of advance directives
The National Institute on Aging explains in depth about advance directives. An advance directive at its basic form is a way for you to tell your relatives what you want to happen in the event of a medical emergency or accident that leaves you unable to vocalize your own desires. For example, you may fall into a coma after a car crash, or you could end up declared brain dead after taking a severe hit to the head.
Benefits for you and your loved ones
In these situations, you likely have opinions as to what you want done. You may want to stay on life support for as long as possible, or you could want your family to take you off of life support faster than that. You can use an advance directive to communicate these desires in detail, so they will know what to do in any unique situation.
This also helps remove the burden of the decision from their shoulders. They do not have to make the call about whether to keep you on life support or not, as they will simply follow your directions as you intended.
Consider speaking to legal help if you want more guidance when creating your advance directive. It can go a long way to giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.