Do you know what a loved one would want, health-wise, if they weren’t able to tell you? Would they know what you would want in a critical situation?
It’s important to have your wishes clearly expressed in writing or e-document. According to a recent study cited by the National Institute on Aging, those who have to guess are correct only 66% of the time.
Choose with Clarity
Making your healthcare choices known is the premise behind National Healthcare Decisions Day. The Sunday, April 16 recognition offers platforms to help families jump-start these difficult-but-necessary conversations.
Healthcare Decisions Day is also a great chance to create an advance directive, or documentation about your preferences for end-of-life care.
Free Toolkit Available
Michigan Medicine provides a free, online toolkit to help. You don’t need to be a patient to use it, and the toolkit meets the requirements as a legal document in Michigan.
To get started, download the toolkit or visit the Michigan Medicine advance directives page.
Other helpful documents may be available at no cost. If you have U-M’s optional life insurance benefit or are enrolled in the university’s Legal Services Plan, you have free access to wills and living wills/advanced directives planning. If you aren't enrolled, you can apply for optional life insurance at any time.
You also can sign up for the Legal Services Plan during Open Enrollment this fall for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
Update Your Beneficiaries
Keeping beneficiary designations current is one of the easiest and most important ways to protect your loved ones financially. If you or a family member have experienced a major life event – like marriage, divorce, birth of a child or death of a loved one – check to make sure your beneficiaries are still current.
Keep in mind that for U-M benefits, you need to designate beneficiaries separately through TIAA and Fidelity Investments for your Retirement Savings Plan accounts, and through MetLife for life insurance.
Think About Estate Planning
Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. Proper estate planning is about making sure your wishes are carried out in many areas that impact health and finances. For help thinking through an estate plan for you or a loved one, watch this video of a previous presentation by MetLife that covers how to set and prioritize goals, tax considerations and 10 common estate planning mistakes.
For help getting your Healthcare Decisions Day conversations started, view the following resources: