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Why Do I Need An Advance Health Care Directive?

We often plan to live the best life we can based on our individual values and priorities. We rarely apply the same thought to our final chapters. A California advance health care directive (also called a living will) tells your loved ones what you want for end-of-life care. At Norton Basu LLP, we understand the importance of this and are here to help you with this simple, but crucial documentation of your wishes.

Copies of your advance health care directive are given to your personal representative (the person you designate and who agrees to carry out your wishes), your doctor, and the hospital or health care facility in charge of your care. An advance health care directive gives your personal representative (sometimes called a health care proxy) the power to make decisions on your behalf, even if they are not married to you or are not a relative.

An advance health care directive details your wishes so that family members and medical staff do not have to guess or argue as to what you would have wanted. It can also prevent unnecessary medical expenses at the end of your life. No one wants to consider their own death. However, the greatest gift you can give your loved ones is to plan for this so that they are not forced to make these difficult choices for you.

My Family Already Knows What I Want. Why Do I Need To Document It?

Relationships can change over time. You may be close to one person now but when the need arises to make medical decisions on your behalf, you may not be close to that person anymore. Life is full of unanticipated bumps in the road. Most of us don’t know when we may need emergency medical attention. A valid advance health care directive also makes sure that your wishes are followed and relieves the burden on your loved ones from having to decipher what medical attention you would want in catastrophic situations.

Does Everyone Need To Know What My Preferences Are For End-Of-Life Care? I Want My Desires To Be Private.

Your advance health care directive is a private document until it is needed. It is not a public document unless you decide to share it. Should the need arise for your agent (health care proxy) to make medical decisions on your behalf, this document will be shared with your medical team and medical institution. We recommend that you only inform your chosen primary and secondary agents that they have been so designated. An advance health care directive is usually part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Connect With Us To Find Out More About Creating An Advance Health Care Directive

We know you have questions about planning. We can help. Call 408-520-1712 and speak with us about your concerns. You can also send us a question via our website inquiry email and we will get back to you. We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Serving clients throughout the Bay Area.