I’m getting older but I’m still healthy. When should I create a healthcare directive?
When should you create your healthcare directives? I always encourage my clients to make sure that those are in place as soon as possible. You want to make sure that your medical power of attorney is in place and that's a document that says who can make your medical decisions if you can't. You want to make sure your declaration of guardians are in place, that's a document that says who is going to be your guardian either of your person or of your estate.
The guardian of your person is one who is in charge of making sure you're fed, you're bathed, you're clothed, that kind of thing, and they don’t have to do it themselves; they just have to make sure that it's done. And then there's a guardian of your estate that's the person in charge of your finances.
So that document you want to put in place in case you need a guardian later on. You also want to make sure you have a living will in place. In Texas we called it a directive to physicians; that's a document that says if I'm on life support and that's the only thing keeping me alive, then I can decide if I want to continue on life support or have life support stopped.
And that document is only applicable if you cannot make your own decisions. So what I recommend is let's get those documents in place now because you never know what can happen two or three years down the road or even maybe next week, you may not be able to make those, sign, documents anymore.