The California advance health care directive (formerly a “living will”) is a combination of a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions. It contains instructions about what actions should be taken for your health in the event you are no longer able to make your own decisions due to illness or incapacity, and appoints a named agent to make such decisions on your behalf.
Advance health care directives were created in response to ever-improving medical technology. Aggressive medical treatment and intervention can today keep a patient alive for years in comatose and permanent vegetative states. This can lead to unnecessarily prolonged, expensive and emotionally burdensome situations for both patients and their families.
Medical technology also means that not every patient who is incapacitated has to die or be permanently disabled. Today there are generally a number of different treatment options available, each with different risks and potential side effects, that may be successful in saving the life of a patient and restoring him or her back to full or partial functionality. The advance health care directive names an agent who knows and understands your wishes and desires, and is authorized to make real-time medical decisions on your behalf.
A California advance health care directive is an important part of your estate plan, and we automatically include one when we create a will or living trust for you. Contact us or call (925) 465-2500 or (707) 398-6008 for more information or to schedule an initial consultation at Sparks Family Law, Inc. with attorney Gary D. Sparks.