People are living longer in California and in many cases they are remaining healthy well into their later years. Eventually, age will catch up with a person and one's health can begin to fail. Health care directives can specify to one's family exactly what one's desires and directives are regarding end-of-life care or care if one becomes incapacitated.
While no one wants to dwell on the subject of aging and dying, making plans to deal with the eventuality can make the hard decisions easier for loved ones to bear. Rather than having to make the decisions in a hospital room after a sudden accident or ailment, a health care directive informs all concerned of the patient's wishes. Having a document that stipulates a person's wishes regarding feeding tubes, life support and other life saving measures allows a family to focus on the well-being of the patient without the stress of how to proceed with the patient's care.
There are many treatment options available now that were not available to prior generations. The ability of these treatments to keep one alive creates many options when it comes to end-of-life care. A person should discuss one's wishes with family and loved ones before the need for the decisions arise. Putting those wishes in writing increases the likelihood that one's final wishes will be carried out.
A person in California who is considering one's health care directives should speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. A lawyer can review one's desires and goals and assist in documenting them so that one's final wishes are understood. Making such difficult decisions before they are needed can ease the process for family and loved ones.