Though no Pennsylvania resident wants to believe that something terrible will happen to him or her, it is a real possibility. An accident or illness could leave individuals in a place where they cannot care for or make decisions for themselves. Because such a situation is understandably frightening, parties may want to make sure that they plan ahead to account for such a possibility.
Long-term care planning can help ensure that individuals receive the care and assistance they need from the people they want. Fortunately, many planning tools exist that can allow interested parties to get their affairs in order. For example, it is typically wise to create a health care directive that addresses how a person wants his or her care handled in certain scenarios. This document can answer questions like whether the person wants to remain on life support, whether all medical treatments should be applied or whether only comfort care should be provided.
It is also important that a trusted party is appointed to act as the proxy or health care power of attorney. This person will have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated party, and the health directive can help make those vital choices. If a person is not chosen ahead of time, the court may have to appoint an individual, which can be tricky.
It often makes sense to plan ahead for various scenarios, and the possibility of incapacitation is one of them. If Pennsylvania residents are interested in adding documents that address long-term care planning to their estate plans, they may wish to gain information on those options. Speaking with experienced attorneys could help them make their wishes known.