We often discuss some difficult topics in this blog. People do not necessarily like to or want to think about what will happen to them and their estates after they are gone and many people avoid making appropriate plans. Some folks in Massachusetts decide that there is already enough to worry about with the stresses of a career, finances and a family so they put off unpleasant tasks, including long-term care planning. However, neglecting to deal with this issue can end up having a very serious impact on everyone around you.
A survey was recently conducted of 1,700 adults in regards to the importance of having end-of-life wishes put into writing. Despite an overwhelming majority of respondents, about 80 percent, who agree that having this type of plan in place is important, only about a quarter of them have actually taken steps to do so.
Having the discussion about what medical treatments are and are not desirable for the end of a person's life can understandably be very difficult for many people. People avoid talking to their loved ones about it because they do not think it is relevant now or they simply do not want to talk about end-of-life issues. However, having a clear plan in place that explains your wishes can save a lot of anxiety, confusion and money in the long run.
In situations when a person is too ill or injured to make their own health care decisions, these difficult choices fall to those closest to us. Without a clear understanding of what to do, family and friends can be put in a very complicated position. They may make decisions that are undesirable but without any other direction, they cannot exactly be faulted for this.
People should have their wishes clearly defined and laid out when it comes to want they want in terms of their health care and their assets. This can go a long way in protecting a person's interests when they can no longer express themselves. Without an advance directive or estate plan in place, a person is leaving his or her care and wealth at risk of being controlled by others.
Source: amednews.com, "76% of patients neglect end-of-life care planning," Kevin B. O'Reilly, Feb. 27, 2012