LIFE'S FINAL CHOICES
For your own peace of mind and as a considerate gesture to your survivors, you should express your wishes in three types of end-of-life final choices.
1. Medical treatment when seriously ill
As you near the end of life, there are likely to be times when medical personnel can employ life-prolonging procedures such as use of feeding tubes. You should prepare
an Advance Directive specifying the kinds of medical care you want and do not want when your death is imminent.
2. Who can make decisions on your behalf
You should designate another person as your "agent" to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are too ill to make such decisions yourself. When you designate a person as your "agent" in your written Advance Directive, you are giving that person what is known legally as "health care power of attorney."
It is also possible to grant someone "general power of attorney," the authority to make
decisions about financial and administrative matters on your behalf. Such an authorization should be "durable," meaning that it is operative if you become incompetent.
3. Disposition of your body
When you die, your survivors need to know your wishes for disposition of your body. You should prepare a written statement specifying what is to be done with your body: burial, cremation, or donation. (This choice is included in the standard Advance Directive form, which does not require an attorney or a notary public.)
Other Information or Instructions
Your survivors will need detailed information about your possessions and your relationships in order to notify friends, relatives, and businesses.
You should prepare:
•A document with complete information for What Your Survivors Will Need to Know. •A will and/or a living trust.
You may also:
• Express your wishes regarding your funeral or memorial service.
• Prepare a draft obituary.