Whether your Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD—also known as a “living will”) is part of your estate plan or a the only estate planning document you have in place, it needs to be reviewed on a regular basis. The estate planning and trust attorneys at San Luis Obispo’s Toews Law Group, Inc., recommend reviewing your AHCD on a periodic basis and when you have any life changes.
The general recommendation is to review your AHCD every five to 10 years when there are no changes in your life. The older you get, the more frequently you will want to review your AHCD.
Other circumstances that indicate it is time for a review include:
- Upon the death or disability of your health care agent
- If you are diagnosed with a serious illness
- A change in your primary care physician or health care specialist
- You want to add or change organ or tissue donation
- You want to change burial or cremation directives
- Divorce or death of a spouse
Life changes in a many ways and sometimes very quickly. It’s important to keep your AHCD as current as possible. Upon reviewing and updating your AHCD: give new copies to your health care proxy and alternate proxy. Give your doctor a copy for your medical records. Tell close family members and friends where you keep a copy. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet and if you have to go to the hospital, give staff there a copy to include in your records.
Keep track of who has copies of your AHCD.
If you do not have an AHCD (living will), the attorneys at San Luis Obispo’s Toews Law Group, Inc., are prepared to help you with this important matter. Serious health matters can happen very quickly. 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.
Toew’s Law Group, Inc., is ready to help and advise about your AHCD, setting up an estate plan and trusts for your estate.