At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we help many individuals and families establish their estate plans. A health care directive represents one of the most important estate planning tools you can use. This document sets forth your preferences as to the end-of-life medical care you want and do not want at the point where you become incapacitated in some way and can no longer make those decisions for yourself.
As CaringInfo.com reports, your advance health care directive gives your health care providers specific instructions to carry out when you slip into an irreversible coma and/or become so ill that no hope of your recovery remains.
The greatest benefit your advance health care directive provides you is that in it, you can state with specificity exactly what you want and do not want in the way of medical interventions, including the following:
- Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments and therapies
- Life-sustaining interventions such as artificial respiration, feeding tube, CPR in the event your heart stops, etc.
- End-of-life procedures, including the use or nonuse of pain management medications
- Other medication preferences
A second great benefit to your advance health care directive is that you designate your attorney-in-fact in it, i.e., the person who you want to oversee the administration of your end-of-life care. You can choose anyone you wish, such as a family member or trusted friend, but you should not choose your doctor or someone who has already become your health care provider or caregiver. You should also designate a second choice just in case the person you name cannot or will not serve at the time (s)he needs to.
Make sure you keep your original advance health care directive in a safe place, such as your safe deposit box, and also make sure to give copies to your doctors and your attorney-in-fact.
For further information, please visit this page of our website.