–Not to be confused with a living trust, a living will, or Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD) is a legal document that appoints a health care agent (also known as an attorney-in-fact or proxy) to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make such decisions due to incapacity, including end of life decisions. The Toews Law Group, Inc. providing living wills in San Luis Obispo, believe it is important for everyone to understand the importance of establishing an AHCD.
It is never too early to establish an AHCD. Tragedy can strike at any moment rendering you unable to speak or communicate. Having an advanced directive provides guidance for doctors, caregivers and loved-ones about your desired quality of life, care, life-prolonging measures and organ donation. If you are terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life, an AHCD will help give your agent much appreciate guidance in making difficult.
Toews Law Group, Inc., a law firm specializing in living wills in San Luis Obispo and all of California, makes sure that the conditions required for a legal AHCD are met. The attorneys will help you:
- Decide who you should nominate to serve as your health care agent
- Decide when your agent’s authority will become effective
- Address end-of-life care decisions
- Address organ and tissue donation and the limitations you may want on such donations
- Decide whether you want to be buried or cremated and discuss whether you have specific instructions for memorial or funeral services.
Reviewing and changing the AHCD
Be sure to have discussions about your personal wishes with your doctor, health care agent and friends and family. The AHCD should be reviewed periodically and changed when needed. Events that trigger a review and change can include:
- Divorce or death of a spouse or health care agent
- A new medical diagnosis
- A change in your wishes
Your attorney can recommend review intervals for your AHCD at the time it is completed. At that same time, you will be given additional recommendations such as:
- Where to store the original so it is safe and accessible
- Who to tell where the original is stored
- Speaking with your physician(s) about end-of-life options and POLST forms
- Keeping a record of everyone who has a copy of the AHCD
- Keeping a copy with you at all time, especially when traveling
No matter what your situation or wishes, the attorneys at Toews Law Group, Inc. are confident that we can help you craft a living will that gives you and your family peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.