HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES

Advance health care directives are an umbrella term referring to all written instructions regarding your medical care preferences. Your family and doctors will consult your advance directives if you’re unable to make your own health care decisions.
Having written instructions can help reduce confusion or disagreement by making clear your wishes. Advanced directives include a Power of Attorney for Health Care as well as a Living Will. California’s Advanced Health Care Directives are codified in Division 4.7 of California’s Probate Code.

Power of Attorney for Health Care

Your Agent only has the powers that you give them. Your agent would make health care decisions for you if you were no longer able to makes these decisions for yourself. So long as you are able to make these decisions, only you alone will have the power to do so. Further, via your POA document, you are giving your Agent specific directions about the Health care you do or do not want and your Agent is bound to follow those specific directions.

Living Will

In California, a Living Will is a written, legal document that spells out which types of life death-delaying measures you want and do not want when death is imminent and you are unable to communicate your wishes; for example, mechanical breathing, feeding tube and resuscitation. A Living Will does not authorize any specific person to make and decisions about life sustaining measures, it simple communicate your wishes for you.

What are the different types of trust?

A trust must contain specific provisions in order to be legally enforceable. Therefore it is imperative that you work with a professional and experienced estate planning attorney in order to set up a valid trust. After carefully discussing your goals withyour estate-planning attorney you will determine what type of trust is right for you. The following are a short list of some of the types of trust your attorney may recommend for you:

Frequently Asked Questions about Advanced Directives

What is the point of all these documents?

The advanced directives documents describe your preferences regarding treatment if you’re faced with a serious accident or illness. Because unexpected situations can happen at any age, these legal documents speak for you when you’re not able to speak for yourself — for instance, if you’re in a coma.

What exactly does a POA for Health care do?

A POA for Health care gives your Agent the power to make medical decisions on your behalf based on directions you have given. For example, you can say whether you want all life-sustaining treatments provided in all events; whether and when you want life-sustaining treatment ended; instructions regarding refusal of certain types of treatments on religious or other personal grounds; and instructions regarding anatomical gifts and disposal of remains.
Unless you include time limits, the Health care Power of Attorney will continue in effect from the time it is signed until your death.
You can cancel your Power of Attorney at any time, either by telling someone or by canceling it in writing. You can name a backup agent to act if the first one cannot or will not take action. If you want to change your power of attorney, you must do so in writing.

What is the difference between a Power of Attorney for Health care and a Living Will?

The difference between the two is based on TIMING.
A living will, only applies if you have a terminal condition as determined by a medical physician. A terminal condition means an incurable and irreversible condition such that death is imminent and the application of any death delaying procedures serves only to prolong the dying process.
A POA for Health care applies in all events in which you are unable to communicate your wishes.
Our attorneys can guide you through the Advanced Health Care Directives forms to ensure their validity.Contact us today in order to speak with one of our estate planning attorneys in order to get started.
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