Recent events have made each of us aware that our health is fragile and that illness can strike us at any time. However, you can make some of your health care decisions in advance with the advice and guidance of a Pasadena advance health care directive attorney at Barilari & Williams.

In California, an “advance health care directive” functions as a durable power of attorney for health care. You can design your advance health care directive so that it takes effect when you are no longer mentally or physically capable of making your health care decisions for yourself.

An advance health care directive may address matters such as anatomical gifts, palliative care, and do not resuscitate orders. Your advance directive can authorize an autopsy, list the surgical procedures you will allow and not allow, and leave instructions for your burial or cremation.

How Does an Advance Health Care Directive Work?

With an advance health care directive, someone you designate in advance (your “agent”) works with your medical providers and makes health care decisions on your behalf on the basis of your explicit instructions or on the basis of your agent’s personal knowledge of the options you would choose.

You should designate someone you completely trust with the decisions about your health care. Usually, an advance health care directive gives your designated agent the ability to:

  1. select or change your medical providers
  2. decide where you’ll be treated
  3. visit you at any medical facility
  4. approve or reject particular medical treatments for you

Why Is Preparing an Advance Health Care Directive So Essential?

If you’re incapacitated or cannot state your desires regarding your health care treatment for some other reason, and if you do not arrange to have someone make those decisions for you, your family might have to petition a court to set up a conservatorship or a guardianship.

Don’t force your loved ones to go to court. Establishing a conservatorship or guardianship in California is expensive, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking, but this kind of difficulty is easily avoidable when you’ve prepared an advance health care directive.

Prior to preparing your advance health care directive, you should decide on the medical treatment you do and do not want, and you should select an agent you trust. A Pasadena advance health care directive lawyer at Barilari & Williams can help you carefully consider your options.

What Else Should You Know About Advance Health Care Directives?

An advance health care directive conveniently combines a living will (your instructions for your health care) with medical power of attorney (which empowers your designated agent to make health care choices for you and on your behalf). In many states, these are two separate legal documents.

None of us know what tomorrow will bring, but if you’ve prepared an advance health care directive, you can be assured that the choices about your health care will be made in accord with your instructions if you cannot make those choices yourself.

With offices in Pasadena and Long Beach, Barilari & Williams can prepare an advance health care directive that expresses your instructions precisely. Your first consultation at Barilari & Williams is provided without cost. Call us now at 888-EST-PLAN to arrange that consultation.