A patient has a great degree of latitude when it comes making end of life decisions. For example, you can choose whether or not the medical team will preserve your life using machines if your condition is fatal, irreversible, or if there is a medical degree of certainty that you will never regain consciousness. You also have decisions that involve weighing certain forms of treatment versus the risks and side effects.
The way that you make these decisions in advance is by executing an advance health care directive. In California, you can make medical decisions in advance by means of this document, and you can appoint a surrogate to give voice to your wishes if you are unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.
When you make these kinds of decisions in advance, it shows concern and love for your family, who would otherwise have to make these decisions without you and maybe amidst a great deal of disagreement. Executing an advance medical directive provides clear instructions, which benefits decision-makers and ensures that your personal wishes are carried out.
Preparing an Advance Medical Directive in California
Every state has its own laws regarding advance medical decisions, so you should enlist the help of an estate planning attorney to ensure your document is worded correctly. The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to execute an advance medical directive and other estate planning documents. Call our San Diego office today at 619-344-0360 to learn more.Read More
Most people realize the importance of setting up a power of attorney to care for financial matters should they become incapacitated for a time. However, healthcare is frequently overlooked. This is a sensitive area and many people, even family members, will disagree on the type of medical care they want. With that in mind, here are 3 documents you need in case you are ever incapacitated and need medical care.
- Advance Healthcare Directive – Your healthcare directive allows you to designate a health care agent who can make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated for a time. It also gives you the opportunity to leave instructions for your health care agent so that you are still making your own medical decisions. The health care agent is therefore just carrying out your wishes until a situation comes up that you haven’t accounted for. Then he or she will step in to make those decisions for you.
- Living Will – This gives you the opportunity to express additional wishes in regard to end of life decisions. For example, you can determine whether or not you want your life to be prolonged by machines, even if there is relatively little hope of being revived.
- HIPPA Authorization – You need to give health care practitioners the legal right to share your medical information with your health care agents as having access to your records will make it much easier to make decisions in harmony with your wishes.
Planning for Your Future Health in California
Whether you have an estate plan that addresses financial matters but not health or you need to start from scratch, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. Give us a call today at 619-344-0360 to ensure that your wishes will be carried out, not just after your death but even while you are alive should you become incapacitated.Read More
California’s Health Care Decisions Act makes an advanced healthcare directive (AHCD) an important part of your estate planning in California. What are some of the things you need to know about this act? What does it allow you to do? Why do you want the document to be legally executed? Here is what you need to know.
- Your Current Directive May Not Be Valid – If you have had an AHCD for a long time, you will want to check and make sure that it meets the current state guidelines. During a medical emergency is not when you want to find out that your AHCD hasn’t been valid for years.
- Appointing a Health Care Agent – This document allows you to appoint a health care agent who can make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. It also allows you to prepare instructions for your healthcare in advance, including end of life decisions.
- Your Decisions Can’t Be Altered by Someone Else – Neither your health care agent nor your doctor can override the explicit instructions you provide in your advance healthcare This allows you to take control of your healthcare choices.
- You Have to Mentally Competent – Now is the time to execute this document. You must be an adult (over 18) and mentally competent at the time the document is executed in order for it to be legally binding.
- You Can Make Changes at Any Time – All you have to do is provide your doctor with a written document that revokes your AHCD, and it becomes invalid. You can also issue a new document to replace your old one any time your wishes changes as long as you are still mentally competent at the time.
Help in Protecting Your Right to Make and Enforce Healthcare Choices
At Petrov Law Firm, we take seriously each individual’s right to make his or her own medical decisions. Including an AHCD as a part of your estate planning is a vital part of making these decisions in advance in the state of California. To learn more, contact our team today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More