Let Your Wishes Be Known
Estate planning is more than creating instruments to express how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death. Your estate plan will also contain important documents to protect your resources while you are alive such as a durable power of attorney as well an instrument expressing your wishes for end-of-life medical treatment. This instrument is an “advance health care directive.”
Some people may refer to an advance health care directive (AHCD) as a “living will,” or “medical power of attorney.” In California and many other states, the instrument which outlines your instructions about your choices for health care methods and medical treatment if you become incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself is an AHCD. Your AHCD provides a legal method to express your wishes to your physician, healthcare providers and family in case you become incapacitated. In it, you assign a trusted agent or “attorney-in-fact” who will ensure the wishes you express in your AHCD are followed.
At Freedman Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to think about planning for incapacity. We can answer your questions and help you create an AHCD that thoughtfully and accurately expresses your wishes.
Do I Really Need An Advance Health Care Directive?
An AHCD is an important legal instrument expressing your wishes concerning your choices not just for medical treatment, but also to express whether you wish to be on medical life support systems. If you do wish to be sustained on life support systems, you may designate how long you wish to be kept alive on these systems.
An AHCD will also allow you to express whether you wish to be sustained with hydration, tube feeding or a combination of both. An AHCD will also specifically address whether you wish to be administered painkilling medication.
Without a current AHCD as part of your estate plan, your family could be faced with confusing and painful emotions. The decisions about your care could fall on a family member who will not follow your wishes for treatment or may end up in stranger’s hands. Your wishes would be unknown or not followed. You could unintentionally end up on life support for decades, thus creating expenses that may have been avoided with an AHCD. Without proper planning, end of life medical expenses can completely drain your estate of all resources.
Call Us To Learn More About The Importance Of AHCDs
If you become incapacitated, having an AHCD will alleviate stress for your loved ones, ensure your wishes for medical treatment are known and protect your resources. Our team at the Freedman Law Firm provides personalized services to help you confidently create your AHCD. Call 415-777-1666 or email us to get started.