Advance Health Care Directive | Mission Viejo: is a document that allows you to express your wishes about medical treatment and also authorizes an agent to make decisions on your behalf if you are ever unable to make them yourself. If you have an AHCD in place, you can be assured that your wishes will be followed if you ever find yourself in such a position. This blog post will discuss the essential aspects of an Advance Health Care Directive and what you need to know to create one.
The first step in creating an Advance Health Care Directive should be to determine whether or not you want to write it yourself or have someone else do it for you. There are many reasons why you might choose to use a professional instead of doing it yourself.
When Should You Create an Advance health care Directive?
This should be something that every individual over the age of 18 has, and it isn't hard to imagine why. I think most people understand that they should have it, but the next question becomes when. It is best to create an Advance health care Directive before you need one. So yesterday, but if you didn't create one yesterday, today would work just as well. This is also something you cannot have "too early," so if you have adult children, they should have one of these as well.
What we often fail to consider is that we won't always have the opportunity to plan later. For example, we often think that if we are diagnosed with a terminal illness, we will have time to create an Advance health care Directive once we get that diagnosis. However, this only accounts for a small percentage of situations that have an Advance Health Care Directive that would be useful. What if you were involved in some form of automobile or work accident?
You may not have the ability or capacity to plan after the fact. Or what if your adult child had too much fun at a college party and found themselves in the hospital? Most parents don't realize their access to their children's medical information terminates when the child turns 18 unless they are given consent or have an Advance Health Care Directive.
The need for an Advanced health care Directive only increases if you are going through a difficult period in your life. This includes divorce, job loss, financial problems, health issues, etc., because there is a greater potential you will need it.
Remember, it is always better to have an Advanced Health Care Directive and not need it than need an Advanced health care Directive and not have it.
Making Your Advance Care Wishes Known
If you are looking to create an AHCD, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first is that the purpose of an Advanced health care Directive is twofold. First, make your own medical decisions regarding treatment before something happens. Second, nominate an agent to carry out those decisions and make ones you didn't address for you if you're unable to.
Therefore, arguably the most crucial aspect of an AHCD is to name someone you trust implicitly as your initial health care agent. You should also be sure to nominate alternates as well in the event your initial agent is unable to unwilling to help.
From there, you should also include a statement of your wishes regarding medical treatment, including whether or not you wish to be kept on life support if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. This portion can be quite detailed and will cover a large array of medical decisions.
What Does an Advance health care Directive Look Like?
An Advance Health Care Directive is a formal legal document that outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment that you provide to hospitals and other medical providers so they know at all times what your wishes are and who they can talk to should they need someone to give guidance on a treatment plan.
An Advanced Health Care Directive will usually be sure to outline who your agents are, when the document becomes effective, what type of care is permitted or prohibited, as well as a variety of other important medical decisions, including end-of-life care.
Once an AHCD is created, it is used to guide your family members in deciding how to best handle your medical needs if you become incapacitated. Simultaneously, it should ensure a trusted individual will always be there to make your medical decisions if you're unable to and avoid the need for a costly conservatorship in the future.
Advance Care Planning Decisions
It cannot be stressed enough that your agent is one of if not the most important decisions you will make. The decision to provide or refuse medical care is a personal choice. Some people choose to stay alive as long as possible, while others prefer to let go when the time comes. No matter which option you choose, it is essential to discuss your preferences with your loved ones so that everyone understands your wishes.
Revoking an Advance health care Directive
One of the most important things to remember about an Advance health care Directive is that you can always revoke it or change it if you change your mind. You can do this by informing your attorney in writing that you are revoking the appointment. Be sure to send a copy of the written revocation to anyone who copies the original Advance health care Directive.
If you revoke your Advance health care Directive, your family members must then follow the previously established directions in the document. They cannot simply disregard your wishes.
For More Information About health care Directives
It is essential to remember that an AHCD should be just one component of a larger estate plan. To ensure that all of your bases are covered, be sure to consult with an estate planning attorney to create a comprehensive program that includes Advance health care directives, wills, and trusts. If you would like more information about Advance health care Directives or any other part of your estate plan, please get in touch with us today by calling 949-799-4774.
We look forward to hearing from you!