Southern California lawyers prepare advance health care directives
No one wants to think about the eventuality of being no longer able to make decisions about their own medical care. Yet, families are often left to make life-or-death medical decisions for loved ones who are unable to speak for themselves. If there is a living will in place, the family will be spared a great deal of indecision and stress, knowing what precisely what should be done. At Johnson and Cruz, PC, in Fullerton, we can prepare a living will — known in California as an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) — that explicitly conveys your wishes about continuing or withholding health care and other important concerns.
Seasoned attorneys explain the value of a living will
Under California law, you can use an Advance Health Care Directive to do one or both of the following:
- Appoint someone to be your health care agent — The agent will have the legal authority to make decisions about your medical care, including management of the dying process.
- Specify your health care wishes — The AHCD can state the conditions in which you would or would not want to be kept on life support.
Your ACHD can apply in situations other than when you are unconscious or terminally ill. You can use it to state your wishes about receiving or refusing life-sustaining treatment in any situation.
The AHCD can also be used to appoint a conservator or guardian, direct organ and tissue donations and give instructions for funeral arrangements. We make certain that all of your wishes are reflected in the document we prepare in your behalf.
Attorneys advise on preparing valid living wills
You can complete an Advance Health Care Directive so long as you are a California resident who is 18 or older, of sound mind and acting of your own free will. There is no required form for the document, though standardized versions are available.
The document must be signed, dated and either attested by a notary public or signed by two witnesses. Certain people cannot serve as witnesses, including the signer's health care agent or the signer’s physician or health care provider or their employees. If the signer resides in a nursing or assisted care facility, one witness must be an ombudsman or patient advocate.
In 2000, the AHCD replaced previously existing forms of living wills in California, such as the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPAHC). Those earlier versions are still valid if they were properly executed. However, if you have one, it is a good idea to review it with counsel to determine if revisions are advisable. We are ready to serve in this regard.
Discuss your living will in a free consultation with our California lawyers
If you are interested in creating an Advance Health Care Directive, the attorneys at Johnson and Cruz, PC are here to guide you and make sure the document is valid and accurately conveys your wishes. Arrange a free initial consultation at our Fullerton office by calling 714-283-3803 or contacting us online.