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Reasons why you need an advance directive in California

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | estate planning | 0 comments

The unforeseen can befall anyone at any moment, regardless of age or health. If something were to happen to you, you’d want your loved ones or estate administrator to take you to a particular medical facility in California and the healthcare professional to offer the necessary and desired treatment. An advance directive is essential for ensuring everyone respects your wishes and carries them out even when you can’t express them yourself.

Understanding advance directives and how they work

An advance directive is an estate planning document that allows you to maintain control over your healthcare decisions and other matters when incapacitated or disabled. It can specify who should make medical decisions on your behalf, the kind of treatment you’d like to receive and where you’d like to receive it.

There are three types of advance directives in California: proxy directives, instruction directives and combined directives. A proxy directive, commonly referred to as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, allows you to designate someone as your proxy so that they can make medical decisions for you. An instruction directive, also known as a living will, enables you to specify the kind of medical treatment and care you’d like to receive in an emergency situation or terminal illness. And a combination directive is simply a combination of both directives.

Reasons why you need this document

First off, it eliminates the guesswork. There’s no chance of miscommunication or misunderstanding when you clearly state your wishes in an advance directive.

Secondly, it prevents disputes. Advance directives help prevent disagreements among family members and other interested parties by removing doubts about what you would want in certain situations. This lets your loved ones focus on helping you recover rather than arguing about medical decisions.

Last but not least, it’s legally binding. If you have an advance directive, no one can overturn it, not even your executor or the court. This guarantees that everyone will respect and follow your wishes, no matter what.

Making an advance directive gives you a chance to take control of your future, even when you can no longer do so. If you don’t have one, it’s best to get started on its creation as early as convenient, and if you already have this document in place, always remember to update it whenever necessary.