One of the most fundamental parts of estate planning involves appointing someone to make medical decisions on someone’s behalf in the event that he or she is unable to. For instance, a healthcare directive usually names someone who can make medical decisions for someone in case he or she has a stroke, coma, etc., and is unable to make these decisions.

A closely related document is the POLST Form. This document defines many end-of-life medical preferences, and should always be completed with a healthcare professional. Taking time to fill out this form with your physician can save your family members a lot of heartache and stress because they will know your wishes and do not have to agonize over important decisions. The POLST form must be signed by a physician, nurse practioner, Doctor of Osteopathy, or physician’s assistant (when delegated).

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