There are many things to consider as we age, and while the possibility of being mentally or physically incapacitated is difficult to think about, it is important to plan ahead. Having a plan in place for your medical care when you are no longer able to make your own decisions can save a lot of heartache for your loved ones, and ensure that your wishes are carried out even if you are not in a place to stipulate them directly. Creating an advance directive in Delaware, also known as a living will, is a smart way to ensure your healthcare decisions are made the way you want them to be. According to cancer.org, it is wise to plan out an advance directive prior to becoming ill.

It is important to know what an advance directive will cover and what it will not. An advance directive only addresses health care and health decisions. It does not address property, inheritance, or anything of that nature. Advance directives were originally formulated back in 1990 under the Patient Self-Determination Act. Under this act, hospitals across the United States are required by law to determine whether or not any patient has an advance directive if they are recommending treatment and the patient is not able to make his or her own decisions.

Advance directives can stipulate what should and should not be done in a life-threatening situation. It is possible to have a do not resuscitate order if desired. However, it’s also important to know that no hospital or medical professional can require a patient to have an advanced directive. They are also not allowed to discriminate against patients that do not have them.