Advanced Directives are something anyone over 18 should have, but according to social worker Heather Dora - many don't.
"Advanced Directives are a way for patients to let their health care provider know what their choices, their medical care, if they're unable to let the provider know themselves," says Dora.
And that includes documenting whom you'd like to make those decisions. It's not the most pleasant subject to think about, but Dora says it's important - not just for you, but to help your family and friends avoid making decisions during what could be an emotional and difficult time.
"When you come to that emergency situation you've already had that conversation with a family member so you're not on the spot trying to think of what you would do, you've already talked to them about what you would do in these circumstances," she says, "and you've also pointed that you know will follow your wishes so if you have one family member with very religious beliefs that wouldn't follow what you're wishes are you've already appointed someone that would."
Now if you don't take care of this, a doctor would speak with the next closest family member, and if they're not available there's a hierarchy of people they'd go through. If you do choose to have directives, you can change the documents whenever you'd like. Copies can be picked up at the doctor's office, area hospital, or found online - and for the most part, can be filled out in your home with just two witnesses.