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Samuel Ford Law Torrance Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer
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Torrance Advance Health Care Directives Lawyer

Have an advance health care directive prepared before you need it

Drafting a clear and thorough estate plan is a gift that you’re giving to your family and loved ones. Not only does a well-crafted estate plan clearly lay out the gifts you wish to leave your family members that can provide critical financial support or treasured personal property, but it also includes detailed instructions on what sorts of medical interventions you wish to have taken on your behalf. Health care directives can prevent disagreements among loved ones during a time of extraordinary stress for them, preventing potential strain on their relationships and even legal battles over who should be authorized to make these decisions on your behalf.

Provide clear directions to your loved ones and prevent potential tragic situations by creating an advance health care directive with the help of the Torrance estate planners at Samuel Ford Law. Our compassionate and committed staff will make sure that you have all necessary end-of-life documents in place well before they’re needed. Contact a Torrance advance health care directives lawyer at Samuel Ford Law in the South Bay for a consultation on your estate planning needs.

What sorts of instructions are included in an Advance Health Care Directive?

An advance health care directive, sometimes referred to as an AHCD, includes detailed instructions regarding the sorts of life-saving measures you do or do not want to be taken on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself. It also includes the opportunity to designate someone to act with power of attorney regarding medical decisions made on your behalf – a component known as a “durable power of attorney for health care.” An advance health care directive can also include your wishes regarding pain management (also referred to as “palliative care”), hospice care, organ donation, funeral/cremation, and autopsies.

Choose the right agent to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself

Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make when drafting an advance health care directive is selecting the person you would like to make decisions regarding your medical care. This individual, sometimes referred to as a health care agent or proxy, will make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated, ensuring that you receive the sort of treatment you want and need.

Who should you choose to act as your medical advocate?

  • Someone you can rely on to maintain their composure in an emergency: Many people appoint a spouse to act as their agent to make medical decisions on their behalf. However, a spouse might be so emotionally wrought by a spouse’s major medical emergency that they would have difficulty remaining calm and level-headed when necessary. Instead, you might consider choosing an adult child or trusted friend whom you know will act out of concern for you and your wishes but can also stay composed emotionally.
  • Someone you can depend on and trust: A medical advocate should be someone whom you know will be present when you need them, and who will make every effort to carry out your stated desires, even when it conflicts with what they would choose in a similar circumstance.
  • Someone who will advocate aggressively for your wishes: Getting the best care possible through an HMO or in a large medical facility can often require vigorous and aggressive self-advocacy, but when you’re unable to speak for yourself, you need someone to speak for you who will fight for the sort of care you need and want. This might mean disagreements with medical professionals or family members. Choosing the right medical advocate who will speak up boldly and firmly regarding your medical treatment can make a major difference in your care.
  • Someone who lives near you in California: While it is not legally mandatory that the individual you select to act with medical power of attorney on your behalf be a California resident, it will be easier for them to arrive at your bedside if they live nearby.

You cannot choose the following persons to act with medical power of attorney for you:

  • Your treating physician.
  • Someone who works for your treating physician, unless that person is also related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage, or you and this person are both employees of your treating physician.
  • An individual who works for a residential care facility or nursing home, unless you’re a fellow employee of that facility or are a relative by marriage, blood or adoption.
  • Someone who is charged with operating or who works for a community care facility. Similar to the above, you can choose someone who has this sort of job only if you are legally related to this person by blood, adoption or marriage, or you and the individual in question both work for the same community care facility.

Help With Advance Health Care Directives and Peace of Mind in Torrance and the South Bay

If you are in the South Bay and would like trustworthy legal guidance as you compile essential documents such as a health care directive, power of attorney, or estate plan, contact the Torrance offices of Samuel Ford Law for a free consultation.

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