What You Need: An Advance Directive. And a Will, if You Haven’t Already Done That

Before my surgery, I was given a folder with various directions on how to prep for the upcoming knife to the throat.  I say that literally.

Among the papers in the folder was an Advance Directive.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is basically instructions to the hospital on your wishes if you were to become incapacitated or gravely ill.

Trust me, it wasn’t a fun exercise.  I went over all the questions with my husband, asking him his preference on some of the items, such as if he would want to be the sole person who determined if I was go go off life support.  This was no walk in the park stuff, but something necessary and something I realized I should have filled out a very long time ago.

Of course the surgery and the thought of going under general anesthetic was enough to scare me into doing one, but who knows what will happen to us from day to day?

An advance directive should not be just the provenance of the elderly. One minute we can be perfectly fine and the next day we could be in a coma because someone hit us with their car.  It doesn’t always have to be a foreseeable event.

OK, enough of me being a downer.

Just go and do it.  Going somewhere like here can help, as each state has different rules regarding advanced directives.

Your family will thank you.

And if you don’t believe me, just go and see The Descendants.

 

One Response to “What You Need: An Advance Directive. And a Will, if You Haven’t Already Done That”

  1. The gold digger February 28, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    You are so smart. And so thoughtful to try to prevent someone else from having that burden.

    My husband thinks I am a complete worrywart, but I asked that he do an AD when we made our will after we got married. He had never had a will! And he was married before!

    We have the ADs and the powers of attorney. My mom and I set up all of her stuff years ago. I have a copy of my mom’s will and am a co-owner of her checking account because after a death, assets can be frozen and how do you pay the bills in the meantime? I am a co-owner of her safe deposit box as well.

    My husband’s parents? Who knows. They even told my husband they know they are leaving a huge mess for him to clean up. They are too busy drinking to try to get their affairs in order.

    A co-worker thought it was odd that his dad had spent a few hours showing him all the dad’s papers, including the funeral that the dad had already planned and paid for. Having had to plan a funeral on the fly, I told the co-worker that his dad was an absolute saint and was giving him one of the best gifts he would ever have.