San Jose Advance Health Care Directive Attorney
San Jose Advance Health Care Directive Lawyer
Designating an Agent for Future Medical Decisions
One of the most important freedoms granted to the vast majority of society is the autonomy to make health care decisions. The possibility of losing that kind of autonomy is always a possibility in the instance of an emergency, and in the case of aging, it can become a difficult kind of issue.
California law presents the opportunity to seize preemptive control over these decisions during the later years of life. Advance health care directives are an important tool for Californians to maintain control over their personal health decisions.
Medical planning is important for getting the best outcomes in both health care and the legal ramifications that come from your care while unable to provide your own treatment decisions. Don’t allow poor planning or missed steps to circumvent your desires. Hiring an experienced San Jose advance health care directive attorney is a good first step to take.
What Are the Key Components of an Advance Health Care Directive?
An advance health care directive in California determines two key aspects of the subject’s care. First, it establishes who can make a decision on the care of the individual. Typically, this is a family member, but it can be any legally competent adult in California who is willing to take on the responsibility.
The second part of the directive is an accounting of what care the subject of the directive desires in specific scenarios. If completed properly, the second aspect of the directive can supersede the first. The designee cannot disregard the wishes of the directive’s subject.
It is possible to establish only one portion of the directive. If you implicitly trust a caretaker to make your decisions about health care when you cannot, only the first half of the directive must be completed. Guidelines for care can also be established outside of the determination of a set decision-maker.
The Three Forms of Advance Health Care Directive
- Living wills are for determining the details of end-of-life decisions. This corresponds to the second key component of an advance health care directive, detailing what care may be provided and what the next steps are after death.
- Medical power of attorney is typically the first decision made. This is how a designee is established to make decisions for another person’s health care. Depending on the age and health background of the subject, a spouse or child is the most common power of attorney designee.
- Psychiatric advance directives are used to enable an advance health care directive to be enacted in the instance of a mental health crisis.
Do Advanced Health Care Directives in California Need to be Notarized?
Advance health care directives require notarization or else signatures from at least two witnesses vouching for the fitness of the person covered by the directive. If the person is already in the care of a nursing home, one of the witnesses must be a member of the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
Using an experienced attorney can make sure the appropriate signatures or notarizations are in place to bind the terms of the directive.
Advance Health Care Directives Aren’t Always in Effect
Just as you must be of sound mind to establish an advance health care directive, as long as you are of your faculties to make decisions on your own care, that is your legal right. The directive only takes effect when you no longer have the ability to conduct the health care decisions of your own accord.
If you become incapacitated, but then recover, the directive ceases to be in effect. As long as you are competent, you will not lose your ability to make decisions. Perhaps the most important aspect of an advance health care directive is a “do not resuscitate” order. This key stipulation makes a determination of life and death for the subject of the directive.
Why an Attorney is Important for Advance Health Care Directives
Like most legal matters, you are often legally allowed to proceed with instituting an advance directive on your own. That doesn’t make it a good idea. A San Jose advance health care directive attorney can make sure the necessary details are in order so you can rest assured the directive is binding.
Legal advice is important to make sure your wishes are respected. Having an attorney can help you make a comprehensive plan for the administration of both your care and your estate. Take advantage of the legal resources an attorney can provide.
Estate Planning Should Go Hand-in-Hand with Health Care Directives
The same California attorney you consult for your health care directive should also be prepared to assist with estate planning. The directive can continue even beyond death for determinations of burial versus cremation.
Don’t think of estate planning as something that should only be considered later in life, however. The more assets you acquire over the course of your career, the more important it is for your family to have a clear legal message of who is entitled to what. These matters become even more complicated in instances where divorces, stepchildren, or unmarried long-term partners have claims to the estate.
Can an Advance Health Care Directive be Challenged in California?
A directive can be challenged in court by a health care provider or a family member of the subject of the directive. If anything isn’t in proper order, the hospital could choose to reject the directive leading to the family having to fight in court to enforce the directive.
If something isn’t in order there is a possibility of a prolonged court case with injunctions holding off the will of the subject of the directive. An established San Jose attorney with specialties in advance health directives can go to great lengths to make a directive impervious to many challenges. Meet our team of skilled and experienced San Jose attorneys who are prepared to provide guidance.
If You or a Loved One Need an Advance Health Care Directive, Don’t Wait
The qualified trust and estate law attorneys at Huber Fox, P.C. can guide you through the steps of establishing an advance health care directive for yourself or a loved one. The worst time to think about establishing a directive is when it’s already too late to do so. Contact us today to begin planning.