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April is ideal for updating medical powers of attorney

Health Care Decisions Month, which occurs in April, is approaching quickly. With that reminder about the importance of making decisions about health care so close, now is the perfect time to review your current health care documents or draw some up if you don't have any.

One of the most important documents you need to prepare is a health care powers of attorney. This document appoints a person to make decisions on your behalf if you can't make them on on your own. You should choose a person you trust who can make serious decisions under pressure. The person you appoint should be someone who is familiar with your wishes for medical care.

Besides appointing someone as your health care proxy, you should make sure that your loved ones know your wishes. If you have children, you wouldn't want them to be shocked by your health care proxy refusing life support if that is what you want.

When you make sure that you have given someone medical powers of attorney and you inform your family about your choices, you lessen the risk of arguing over what will happen if you can't make your own choices. This takes some of the stress off of your family members.

Making decisions about your health care is important for any adult, not just those who have chronic health conditions and those who are elderly. If you need help updating or creating the documents you need, consulting with someone familiar with Michigan estate planning might help you to learn what you need to know.

Source: Tryon Daily Bulletin, "Advance Care Planning: making and respecting choices" Laura Ellington, Mar. 19, 2014

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