What would happen if you needed emergency medical care and you could not make decisions about your care or communicate your wishes?  Who would speak for you?  Who would make critical health care decisions that would be in your best interest? Do you have a will?

An unpleasant truth is that there are situations where decisions have to be made and these decisions could have a “life or death” impact on us.

For example, advancements in medical technology now enable doctors to keep us alive in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Maybe you don’t want to think about it, but consider for a moment what if you were completely incapacitated, perhaps on life support, with no hope for recovery?

Would you want your family and your doctor to keep you alive, sometimes at an incredible financial cost that can drain the family’s finances, even though you had no conscious awareness, no quality of life, and no chance for a recovery?

Many people look at that situation and answer no and say they would want someone to “just pull the plug” under those circumstances.

But exactly who would make that decision?

In a less dire circumstance, what would happen if you were unconscious after an accident and were unable to authorize desperately-needed surgery? Who would you want to make this important health care decision for you?

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to make this important decision NOW—before the need occurs.

Your estate planning attorney can work with you to create a document authorizing someone you trust to make health care decisions in case you can’t do that for yourself. This important document may have different names, but the basic concept is the same.  A “Living Will”, “Statement to Physician” , “Health Care Proxy”, or” Medical Power of Attorney”, whatever the name, this document is an important part of your estate planning.

This is a document you create and then hope will never be needed.

If you don’t already have a Living Will or other document that authorizes someone you trust to make health care decisions in case you can’t do that for yourself, make it a priority. Get it done and have the peace of mind that you are protected and your wishes will be honored.

Be sure to watch our Financial Briefing video on this important topic,  “Who will make critical health care decisions for you…

Disclosures: Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal, and investors should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions. The information contained in this piece is intended for information only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered investment advice. United Capital does not provide tax or legal advice. Please contact your tax and legal professional with questions about your specific needs and circumstances.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC.  Opinions expressed are current as of the date of this publication and are subject to change.

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