Santa Maria Advance Health Care Directive Attorney
Assisting Clients Throughout Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo
As you grow older, you will need to start preparing for anticipated medical complications, including incapacity. Though you may have started to have some tough discussions with your loved ones, many do not realize that they should be documenting and formalizing these preferences. If you were to suddenly become unable to communicate, who would determine what types of medical attention you receive? How would they be able to justify your requests?
Our Santa Maria advance health care directive lawyer at the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C. can help ensure your wishes are honored when receiving urgent medical care. By establishing advance directives, you can specify what care you wish to receive across numerous anticipated scenarios, including end-of-life care. Our firm can ensure that your intentions are appropriately formalized and will be enforced as necessary.
What Can an Advance Health Care Directive Accomplish in California?
Advance health care directives, which are also called “living wills,” give you a voice in choosing your medical care in situations where you would otherwise be unable to advocate for yourself. Many healthcare emergencies will leave you unable to communicate, but the directives can provide legally enforceable instructions that your health care team must honor.
An advance health care directive can address numerous medical scenarios, including:
- Whether you wish to be kept alive by any means necessary, even if you are in pain
- Whether you wish to undergo risky or experimental surgery if it means saving your life, even if the odds of success are not favorable
- Whether you wish to be resuscitated should your heart fail
- Whether you wish to be placed on a ventilator
- Whether you wish to be kept alive if you enter a vegetative state
- What types of end-of-life or hospice care you prefer to receive
- How you wish your body to be handled and treated after you pass away
Establishing advance health care directives often means contemplating unpleasant scenarios. However, doing so is important to ensure that your bodily autonomy and wishes are protected should you become unable to communicate. It is often recommended that you consider universal inevitabilities, such as preferences involving end-of-life care, as well as any anticipated medical scenarios should you be aware of current or emerging conditions, particularly those that can trigger incapacity.
How Are Advance Directives and Living Wills Formalized?
In California, the living will and medical power of attorney are combined into an advance health care directive. In order to formalize it, your must sign the document have it notarized or signed by two witnesses. One of your witnesses must not be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption and must not be entitled to your estate.
Neither of your witnesses may be:
- Your health care provider
- Your health care agent
- An employee of your health care provider
For more information on how to formalize your advance health care directive, reach out to an experienced attorney near you at the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C.
To create an enforceable advance health care directive, you will need to put your preferences in writing. It is helpful to be as specific and adaptable as possible. For many scenarios, you will need to specify a primary preference as well as alternate options should your first choice in care not be available or possible.
You will then need to appoint a health care agent that has medical powers of attorney. This individual will be empowered to make health care decisions on your behalf when certain conditions are met. You should share and discuss your written directives with your chosen agent and make sure that they fully understand your wishes and intentions.
We can accurately assess and evaluate your legal matter and provide you with solutions.
An agent with medical powers of attorney can only make decisions for you within the scope that you define. Some will choose to allow their agent to have decision-making abilities on an ongoing basis. Many agents’ abilities only trigger should you become incapacitated, at which point they serve as your advocate when determining what care you receive.
Our Santa Maria advance health care directive attorney at the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C. can assist you in appointing an agent and implementing your preferences. We have over 30 years of experience helping our California clients plan for a variety of medical scenarios and can work to ensure you have the peace of mind that you deserve.
“I would recommend Mr. Holland as extremely capable as our family attorney”- Arthur S.