We don’t know the day nor the hour of transition. The exact moment of death is beyond human awareness. Until the moment arrives. Up to that point, however, it is imperative we plan ahead to unburden family. You may be thinking that only the elderly or infirm should do so.
You would be wrong. Young and healthy people die too. I know a few individuals younger than 60 who died from cardiac arrest, aneurysm, suicide, accidents, and unnatural causes. A sad case in point is the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old daughter Gianna, and 7 other people in January. Thus, advanced directives are crucial for all adults.
Providing loved ones with clear direction about health care choices, end of life issues, and the division of assets is the healthy thing to do. No, it does not signal giving up. Instead, an advanced directive will definitely minimize the anguish of making decisions that directly impact another person’s lifeline and vitality. You may be thinking this is a morbid subject.
You would be wrong again. Advanced directives are not about dying. They are about living. About the carrying out of your life wishes when you can no longer speak for yourself. Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney are tools that provide for living the last moments of life well, on your terms.
Is there a higher form of health than that? I’m not sure there is. Facing mortality and being clear about how you want your life to end indicate strength, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health, and are admirable. Not only does establishing an advanced directive indicate realism about the finite time we have on earth, it’s also about loving those charged with making critical decisions so much that you choose to lessen their fears, sadness, and hesitations when it’s time to do the best thing for you.
Prepare now to transition your way before the day, the hour arrives.
Printable Advanced Directives by state: