How long should an elderly, ill person be kept alive? It is not an easy conversation.

Thanks to medical advances, people can now be kept alive for a much longer time than in the past. However, a doctor explains the difficulties of determining when it is time to go, according to The Guardian in “My patient is 93 and has pneumonia. It’s time to talk about her death.”

Most of the time, the uncomfortable conversations mentioned in the article can be avoided by doing some advance planning.

Advance medical directives, including living wills and health care powers of attorney, make it possible for people to give directions regarding when doctors should no longer keep them alive and who should make any medical decisions, if there are any to make.

With advance medical directives, you can make decisions now while you are still able and avoid the pain of having others make them later.

An estate planning attorney can guide you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and can include medical directives.

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