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Advance Health Care Directives

Advance Health Care Directives

The ability to chart our course in life is one that we sometimes take for granted. And while we would like to believe that we will always be able to retain control over the choices that affect us, illness and incapacity can severely undermine that control unless we are prepared for such contingencies. Because life is unpredictable,  it is important to make decisions about medical treatment when you are able to make considered and calculated choices. A Riverside wills lawyer can assist you during this process.

The instruments of advance healthcare planning

A living will can provide treatment instructions when you are unable to voice your requests and desires. However, it is best to undertake health care planning before your admission to a health care facility, where you may find yourself confronted upon admission with a boilerplate living will form. This standard form is not likely to express your personal wishes or account for the various contingencies that could arise — but without an attorney-prepared document, you will likely be pressured to sign it.

An advance health care directive encompasses far more than a boilerplate living will and outlines choices that are consistent with your preferences, beliefs and the known medical options available to you. Most important, when you are unable to speak for yourself, an advance healthcare directive can place decision-making powers in the hands of a person you nominate through a durable power of attorney. This person will presumably be someone who knows you well and is prepared to advocate on your behalf, making their decisions in accordance with your instructions.

An estate planning law firm in California can help you develop clear goals for treatment under many different potential circumstances. For example:

  • Under what conditions would you want to be resuscitated in the event your heart stops? 
  • Do you wish to be sustained on a ventilator if you are comatose? 
  • Should you be artificially fed via tube or IV, or even spoon fed, if you are no longer able to function or accomplish the simplest tasks?

While this kind of planning may never become necessary, if it does, your family will be grateful for your foresight. The experienced attorneys at Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, A Law Corporation are available for all of your estate planning needs. 

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