California encourages planning for health care decisions


Planning for the future can sometimes be uncomfortable, especially when it comes to planning for things you don't like to think about. But planning for the possibility of a debilitating or incapacitating injury or illness by having an advance health care directive can save your family a great deal of anguish in the future.

In order to encourage everyone to plan for the inevitable, California provides a simple Advance Health Care Directive form, including explanations and instructions for filling it out and making sure it gets into the right hands. The form is adequate, but people should always consult with an experienced California estates attorney before pursuing something this important on their own.

The advance health care directive is basically a power of attorney for the specific purpose of providing health care instructions in the event they become incapacitated. It allows a person to consent to or refuse specific health care treatments or procedures, and it also allows them to appoint a person to have authority to make decisions on their behalf that aren't specifically covered under the directive. It can indicate whether or not a person wants to become an organ donor after their death, and it can be used to appoint a specific health care professional to be primarily responsible for care and treatment.

The advance health care directive is an essential document for those who want to die with dignity on their own terms. An experienced California attorney can help take the mystery out of this important area of law.

Source: California Legislative Information, Advance Health Care Directive, accessed Nov. 22, 2014

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