Advanced Healthcare Directives in California – What You Need to Know
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.