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The importance of updating your advanced directive

Every adult should establish an advanced directive to define their medical wishes and appoint someone to make decisions. Many people create a directive and then fail to update it afterward, resulting in an outdated and sometimes unenforceable directive.

There are some key reasons why you should update your advanced directive regularly.

Some areas require timely documents

In some states, you must update an advanced directive periodically for the document to be enforceable. Familiarize yourself with your state’s guidelines to ensure that your forms are current. Not to mention, periodic updates also ensure that your advanced directive is on the latest acceptable versions of the form.

Your life needs change

Your medical concerns and the people that you trust will vary with life stage changes. The person you are closest to in your 20s may not be the person you trust with your medical decisions in your 40s. Update your advanced directive any time your life situation changes.

Some medical diagnoses affect your directive

Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic illness or a severe condition that alters your long-term medical well-being necessitates a change to your advanced directive. You need to define designations based on your current condition and the expected progression of the disease.

An advanced directive gives you peace of mind about your medical care. Consider who you wish to appoint to carry out your directive and detail your wishes as clearly as possible to avoid ambiguity and interpretation. Use the proper forms for your state so your advanced directive is enforceable.