What is an Advanced Healthcare Directive?

Nobody wants to think about certain aspects of estate planning. Whether because some parts are rather dull, saddening, or just plain daunting, creating a plan for any situation is key in ensuring your wishes are carried as you intend. If the time comes where you are ever incapacitated, it will work to both your benefit and to your family’s benefit to create a plan regarding the actions they should take going forward. Hopefully, creating an advanced health care plan will allow you to sleep soundly at night with peace of mind. And remember, though it is not the most cheerful part of estate planning, you may never need to use it at all. It is only there as a backup plan. If this sounds like something that may work for you, please continue reading to learn more about your options.

How can an advanced health care directive help me?

Essentially, an advanced health care directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, health care proxy, power of attorney for health care, or designation or surrogate, will allow you to establish certain guidelines regarding your health care matters if you lack the physical or mental capacity to communicate your wishes. Once you decide you’d like to establish an advanced health care directive, you may appoint a loved one to handle these decisions if you are unable to do so on your own.

What issues can an advanced health care directive address?

Some of the many issues that you can address in your health care directive are as follows:

  • Authorize loved ones to obtain medical records in emergency situations
  • Indicate whether the document is effective immediately or upon a finding of incapacity
  • Set the standard for determining your incapacity
  • Communicate your wishes to receive or not receive life-saving care
  • Ensure decisions are made in accordance with your beliefs, principles or religious practices
  • Any additional health care wishes or concerns

Once you get an advanced health care directive, you should ensure you tell all parties that may need to know, including doctors, family members, and other loved ones. While an advanced health care directive is a legally enforceable document, it is still only a document. Informing all parties that should know is an important preventative measure you may take to ensure your wishes are carried out as planned. 

Contact our experienced California firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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