An advance healthcare directive is a legal document that allows you to outline your medical preferences if you become incapacitated and cannot effectively communicate your wishes. It is often referred to as a living will because it is implemented when you are still alive.
The primary purpose of an advanced healthcare directive is to provide clear guidance to healthcare providers and family members regarding your medical care. This legal document can address various medical decisions, including end-of-life care, resuscitation, life-sustaining treatments and organ donation.
The legal requirements for making a living will in California
To create a valid living will under California law, you must be of sound mind and over 18 years. In addition, you must sign the document. Your living will must also be signed by two qualified witnesses or acknowledged before a notary public (a practitioner trained in the drafting and execution of legal documents).
Getting started with your advanced healthcare directives
When creating your living will, determining the type of medical treatments you would like to receive if you become incapacitated is an excellent place to start. Your personal values, beliefs and medical history can help you make such decisions.
Discussing your preferences with family members and healthcare providers is essential to ensure everyone understands your wishes. Most importantly, ensure the final legal document is properly executed and meets all legal requirements. That way, it will be valid and enforceable when the time comes.
Get proper guidance when creating a living will
Advanced healthcare directives can save your loved ones the trouble of making difficult decisions regarding your medical care when you cannot do so. Having clear instructions on what should happen to you may help avoid potential conflict or disagreements among your kin. It also puts you in control of your personal affairs.
Therefore, it is best to have qualified assistance when creating this crucial legal document to avoid any loose ends or loopholes that could throw your plans in disarray.