Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?

An Advanced Health Care Directive (also known as Living Will) is part of an estate plan designed to let your wishes be known regarding health care. It allows you to appoint an agent to make decisions for you and gives them specific instructions to be followed. Your Health Care Directive can include instructions regarding religious preferences; wishes regarding the treatment of specific ailments; what to do if you are facing terminal illness or if you are in a coma.

Why do I Need an Advanced Health Care Directive?

Health care decisions are always challenging. Creating an Advanced Health Care Directive helps you by giving you the peace of mind that you will receive the treatment you want. In addition is helps your loved ones know what your wishes are so they do not have the deal with the stress of guessing what you would want.

There are so many examples where the lack of an Advanced Health Care Directive has led to ugly legal battles as loved ones with different ideas fight over what the proper treatment should be. Picking one person to make these decisions and making sure they understand your wishes can solve this problem.

In addition to health care decisions an Advanced Healthcare Directive can make other wishes know. You can name your primary physician, give instructions regarding disposition of your remains and take into account any religious preferences you have.

Decisions regarding your body and health care should not be made without your input. Many times my clients have not considered future health care until we sit down to talk. So often they feel like they are being petty or bothersome asking somebody to do this for them, but the truth is if something goes wrong a loved one will be forced to do it. This way you can pick an agent who is best suited to handle the stress and give them instruction that will greatly reduce the burden on them.