When Tom Petty was found in cardiac arrest earlier this month, his family reportedly took him off life support, citing a do-not-resuscitate order the rocker had established.
Making arrangements for your care should something happen to you should be a crucial part of your estate plan. And the considerations extend beyond your health.
Spending for out-of-pocket medical expenditures in the last year of life averages $11,618, according to 2010 research from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Those costs would probably be closer to $18,000 today, taking health-care inflation into account, estimates Carolyn McClanahan, a physician and director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners. And for families with more liquid assets, that tally is usually higher, she said.
The magic number when individuals should make arrangements for their care: 18 years old, according to McClanahan, who is a certified financial planner. Yet just 26.3 percent of adults have an advance directive, a legal document that stipulates your wishes if you are debilitated or unable to speak for yourself, according to 2013 data from the National Institutes of Health.
"If you have something bad happen, if you don't have these forms in place, there's nobody there to make decisions for you," McClanahan said.