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What Is Included in a California Advance Health Care Directive?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Bay Area Estate Planning AttorneyAs you get closer to the end of your life, you may need to make some difficult decisions about the medical treatment you will receive in certain situations. In California, you can create an advance health care directive that allows you to specify your wishes and ensure that you will be provided with the proper care. In some states, this type of directive is known as a living will. However, California law provides people with additional flexibility to make decisions about these issues. If you are considering how you want your medical care to be handled, an estate planning attorney can help you understand your rights and options and ensure that your advance health care directive fully addresses the issues that are important to you.

Elements of an Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive will usually include a power of attorney for health care. This will allow you to name someone who will make health-related decisions for you if you are unable to do so on your own. Your agent could be your spouse, another family member, a close friend, or another person you trust to make sure you receive the care you need. You can provide your agent with the authority to make all health care decisions, or you can limit them to making certain decisions, while also providing instructions for the types of care you do or do not want to receive. Depending on the level of authority you grant to your agent, they may be able to either consent to or refuse different types of treatment; choose your health care providers or the facilities where you will receive treatment; approve different types of tests, surgical procedures, or medications; decide whether nutrition or hydration should be provided or withheld or whether you should be resuscitated; or make decisions about the disposition of your remains and the donation of your organs following your death.

Your advance health care directive can also include specific instructions about your care and treatment that you want to be followed, regardless of whether your agent will be making decisions for you. Typically, these decisions address end-of-life care in cases where death is imminent and you are unconscious or unable to communicate your wishes. You can address whether you wish your life to be prolonged or whether treatment should be withheld if the risks and negative effects of treatment would outweigh the possible benefits. You can also address palliative care and pain management, detailing whether you want to receive certain types of treatment that will alleviate your pain and discomfort. This will ensure that your wishes will be followed while eliminating confusion and uncertainty for your loved ones as they determine what types of care you should receive.

Contact Our Berkeley Advance Health Care Directive Lawyer

At the Law Office of Martin Alperen, we can advise you of your options as you make decisions about your health care, and we will ensure that you meet all requirements when creating and executing an advance health care directive. To learn how we can help you eliminate uncertainty as you make plans for the future, contact our Oakland estate planning attorney by calling 415-534-1200 to arrange a free consultation.




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