Facing the end of life can be challenging for anyone. After all, as individuals age, they often develop health-related issues that take away from their quality of life. Even younger individuals may acquire a life-threatening illness or suffer a catastrophic injury.
It is not uncommon for injured and ill Pennsylvanians to feel like they are losing control. To continue to have some say in what happens to you, you may want to prepare an advance directive. This estate planning tool informs medical professionals about the treatments you want and do not want at the end of life.
Your family members may see things differently
As the American Cancer Society points out, the right time to prepare an advance directive is before you need it. Likewise, the best opportunity you have to get your family members on board with your advance directive is when you are healthy and in control of your mental faculties.
When you are creating your advance directive, it is advisable to discuss both your choices and the convictions behind them. Because it can be difficult to come to terms with end-of-life matters, you should plan to have more than one conversation. Remember, it is important who you select as your surrogate decision maker so that your wishes will be honored.
You may need professional help
If your close relatives disagree with your advance directive, they may go to court to prevent doctors from following it. Regrettably, this tactic may expose you to receiving medical care you do not want.
Therefore, you may want to bring in some professional help to assist you with these discussions. Family counselors, mediators, social workers and others may be helpful. Your estate planning attorney can also assist with creating a clearly worded advance directive.
Ultimately, because you have a keen interest in having your relatives respect your advance directive, it is worthwhile to discuss these decisions ahead of time and to select the right surrogate decision maker, who would follow your wishes.