Newman Law Group

Health care directives can bring peace of mind

Most people want to feel as if they have at least a modicum of control in any given scenario. There are certainly situations in life that no California resident can control, but often, preparations can be made that could at least act as a guide for handling certain ordeals as best as possible. For instance, many individuals may benefit from creating health care directives that would allow them to provide instructions for care in a health crisis they cannot control.

If an accident or illness results in a person suffering serious injuries, being in a coma, having cognitive impairment or facing a terminal diagnosis, that individual likely cannot communicate his or her wishes for care. An advance directive is a document that could allow parties to express how they would like this type of scenario handled before in the event they cannot speak for themselves. The document can include wishes for care, such as all life-saving measures, only comfort care or something in between, and it could include a do-not-resuscitate order to use if a person stops breathing and does not wish to be resuscitated.

Another important aspect of an advance directive is naming a power of attorney agent. This person can ensure that the patient's wishes are carried out as he or she wanted and can make medical decisions for the patient that may not have been addressed in the directive. Making this appointment well ahead of time could ensure that a trusted person is in charge and that time is not wasted trying to decide who should make these decisions.

Health care directives can act as an important part of any comprehensive estate plan. Planning early could bring about peace of mind as California residents would know that they made their wishes for care known and that a trusted person would be in charge of important medical decisions if needed. Though most people would prefer being able to control the situation themselves, having a plan is the next best option, and making sure those documents are legally binding is vital.

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