Should you create an advanced care plan?

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Should you create an advanced care plan?

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Make your health and financial wishes clear through an advance care plan while you’re healthy – so it’s easier for your family when you’re not.

When 47-year-old Debra* met with her lawyer for the first time, she thought that she’d just be talking about what she wanted to happen to her assets after she died. The lawyer told Debra that she was on the right track by creating a will, but she was missing a key document that she might need sooner: an advance care plan. “It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I also need to create a plan for how I want my finances to be handled if I got sick,” Debra said. “Or what choices I want to be made around my health care if I’m not able to make them myself.”

An unexpected emergency like a stroke, concussion or car crash could happen at any age – and leave you suddenly unable to make your own decisions about your health or your finances. An event like this will take an emotional toll on your family, making it even more difficult for them to make these decisions for you – whether they know your wishes beforehand or not.

By creating an advance care plan, you’ll ensure that your health and finances will be handled just as you want – and take some of the pressure off your family members during a difficult time.

What is advance care planning and why should you create a plan?

Advance care planning often refers to researching your health-care options and communicating your wishes for the future. For example, would you want “heroic measures” taken to prolong your life, in the event of an accident? Do you want your organs used for transplant?

But advance care planning can also encompass providing for a range of other future needs, such as financial planning and personal care. It can include choosing someone to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated (through a power of attorney document)), drawing up a health-care directive (sometimes called a “living will”) and even taking the time to discuss your wishes with your family, and documenting your decisions.

If you’re like Debra, you probably weren’t planning to think about how you might want to be cared for until a bit farther down the road. But life is unpredictable. By planning for the unexpected, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

To read the rest of this important article by SunLife Financial, CLICK HERE. Please contact Harry Perler or David Olejnik if you have questions.