When you create an estate plan, you are taking a necessary step to protect yourself and your loved ones when you pass away. While this is true, many people don’t realize there’s more that goes into an estate plan than just a will.
One document you need to include is an advanced healthcare directive. This document will ensure your loved ones know your wishes for medical treatment. It can take the stress out of making hard decisions if you become incapacitated. Some of the specific reasons to have an advanced healthcare directive as part of your California estate plan can be found here.
What does the advanced healthcare directive do?
As the name implies, an advanced healthcare directive provides instructions about your health care if you become incapacitated. With this form, you have a power of attorney for healthcare, which is where you name someone to make decisions about your medical care if you can’t do this for yourself.
The document is also used to outline the type of treatment you consent to and what you don’t. This includes things like:
- Consent or refusal of care
- Preferred doctors or hospitals
- Approval or denial of specific surgeries, medications and testing
- If you want lifesaving efforts made under certain situations
- Organ donation requests if you pass away
You can add other wishes related to medical care and treatment if you have them on the document.
Creating your advanced healthcare directive
It’s best to work with a professional to create this document to ensure it is legal and that it will provide the information needed if you become incapacitated. This will pay off and ensure that you get the treatment required (or lack of treatment) at the end of your life or if you are incapacitated.