Many caregivers are so busy with their day-to-day that it is difficult to find the time to do anything other than the task in front of them. Creating Advance Directives is likely on your‘to-do-if-I-have-time” list. After all, Advance Directives are completely optional. But, caregivers: you should really reconsider their priority and get them completed asap. Here’s why.
- Advance Directives can reduce painful family arguments. These documents are a legal road map for your family when you cannot communicate your wishes. Advance Directives typically contain a living will (the type of medical care you want if you cannot speak for yourself) and a health care power of attorney (the person who is responsible for making these decisions for you). Having a plan will reduce the odds of family strife during a stressful time.
- You don’t need an attorney. Virginia law states that “any adult capable of making an informed decision may, at any time, make a written advance directive to address any or all forms of health care in the event the declarant is later determined to be incapable of making an informed decision.” The law goes on to say that it needs to be signed “in the presence of two subscribing witnesses” – and does not specify that one needs to be an attorney.
- It’s one less thing to worry about. As a caregiver, you know how quickly a situation can change. Take the time now to get in order Advance Directives for yourself, and it is one less thing on your to-do list.
Learn more about Advance Directives on the AARP website.