It may not surprise some Massachusetts residents that Joan Rivers knew for some time that her life was coming to an end. In anticipation of that fact, she engaged in estate planning that not only provided for her daughter and grandson, but also for herself. By executing an advance directive, Rivers' daughter was able to let her go in accordance with her wishes.
Estate planning is not only about what will happen after a person's death, but also if he or she becomes incapacitated. An advance directive allows an individual to decide for him- or herself what life-saving treatments he or she wants -- or does not want -- ahead of time. Without one, family members may have to take valuable time and money going to court to receive the right to make health care decisions on behalf of a loved one.