Should you have a Long Beach advance health care directive attorney at Barilari & Williams prepare an advance health care directive on your behalf? Yes, and for a number of reasons.
An advance health care directive is a legally binding document that articulates your health care instructions and wishes if you become unable to express those wishes and instructions yourself because you are disabled or incapacitated.
The estate planning lawyers at Barilari & Williams are fully committed to helping our clients with estate planning and with related matters like advance health care directives and powers of attorney.
What Does an Advance Health Care Directive Accomplish?
In California, what other states call a “living will” and a “medical power of attorney” are merged into one single legal document – an advance health care directive.
Your advance health care directive expresses your wishes and instructions to health care providers, and it names someone you trust – your “agent” – to make your health care decisions if you can’t make those decisions yourself.
Of course, everyone’s circumstances and preferences are different and unique, so you should discuss your health care considerations and personal needs with your advance health care directive attorney at Barilari & Williams.
Your attorney will answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns regarding your advance health care directive.
What May Be Expressed in Your Advance Health Care Directive?
Many of our clients in Southern California have us prepare their advance health care directives. An advance health care directive can express your instructions regarding artificial nutrition and hydration, pain relief, ventilators, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and DNR (do-not-resuscitate) orders.
Many of our clients prepare an advance health care directive to make it abundantly clear that should their medical condition become irreversible or terminal, “heroic” life-prolonging measures are not to be used.
What Does California Law Require?
You must sign your advance health care directive, and it must be notarized or else signed by two witnesses. After the directive is notarized or witnessed, it’s legally valid. Keep your original and provide a copy to the person you’ve designated as your health care agent.
To make sure that your wishes are honored, it’s also a smart idea to give copies of your advance health care directive to your doctor, hospital, insurance provider, and trusted loved ones and friends.
Your final advance health care directive will stay in effect until you revise it or revoke it. You should review the document every several years to ensure that it continues to express your wishes.
You may also need to revise it if you relocate to a different state, get divorced, married, or remarried, or if your designated agent can no longer meet his or her obligations.
Before You Prepare an Advance Health Care Directive
However, before you prepare an advance health care directive, you must decide exactly what you do and don’t want with regard to health care treatment. If you’re not sure, an advance health care directive attorney at Barilari & Williams will help you carefully consider your options.
With offices in Pasadena and Long Beach, Barilari & Williams can prepare an advance health care directive that expresses your instructions clearly and precisely.
Your first consultation with an attorney at Barilari & Williams is provided without cost. Call us now at 888-EST-PLAN to schedule that consultation.