California Advance Health Care Directive
Why Do I Need an Advance Health Care Directive?
Death is an inevitable part of life. However, for a variety of reasons many people delay planning for end-of-life medical care. By coming to this website, you have made the choice to start implementing a plan that can improve the quality of your life in the future and ease the burden on your loved ones. Preparing an Advance Health Care Directive (and, most importantly, discussing it with your loved ones) offers the best assurance that future decisions regarding your medical care will reflect your wishes.
What is an Advance Health Care Directive?
A properly completed Advance Health Care Directive is a legally-binding document that allows you to accomplish two important goals:
Naming a Health Care Agent – You can name a trusted friend or family member as your health care agent. This allows the named agent to make health care and medical treatment decisions on your behalf when you are not able to make those decisions yourself. We recommend that you name one primary agent, as well as one or two “back-ups.”
Individual Health Care Instructions – You can also provide detailed instructions as to your wishes for your desired care and treatment, including the use of life support, as well as instructions regarding post-death matters, such as organ donation and disposition of your bodily remains.
How can I Obtain an Advance Health Care Directive?
Although an Advance Health Care Directive is an important legal document, it can be completed without the assistance of an attorney. We have created a form that you can download and complete yourself. Be sure to read the form carefully and follow the instructions (which are in italics in the form itself) to make sure that the document is completed properly. Once the document has been completed (including being notarized or witnessed by two individuals as directed in the form), be sure to take a copy of it to your primary physician and ask for it to be placed in your medical records. Additionally, be sure to give a copy to your agent and keep a copy for your own personal records.
Let Beach Cities Estate Law Assist
The content of an Advance Health Care Directive can be complex and should be thought through very carefully. We welcome you to contact us for more information on Advance Health Care Directives and other estate planning topics. These topics may be uncomfortable to talk about, but we can walk you through various scenarios and help you create an Advance Health Care Directive that reflects your beliefs and desires.