Save Your Loved Ones From Tough Decisions
Advance health care directives, sometimes referred to as “living wills,” are used to specify a person’s final wishes regarding the extraordinary medical treatment that should be provided in the event of a life-threatening illness or injury. By writing a clearly stated advance health care directive, you remove the emotional turmoil your loved ones could face when making decisions about your medical care if you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself.
The Mullin Law Firm in Concord and Walnut Creek, California, has more than 35 years of experience helping people with their estate planning and probate needs regarding end-of-life issues. We offer a consultation to discuss the limits of legal powers you grant a designated loved one to handle your affairs.
What Is The Difference Between An Advance Health Care Directive And A Durable Power Of Attorney?
An advance health care directive is written specifically to inform your loved ones and physicians about your wishes regarding the limits of extraordinary measures taken to prolong your life. In an advance health care directive, you can specify the exact terms and conditions under which you wish medical treatment to stop or continue. You can also designate the individual you want to put in control of making the final decision regarding when to end medical care, based on the interpretation of your directive.
Many elderly people have an adult child help them with all issues regarding Medi-Cal, informed consent and financial accounts. By being designated as the attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney, the primary caregiver is authorized to request information and handle the legal affairs of the principal. The authority of a durable power of attorney can be given to another individual only by a party who has the mental capacity to do so. In this sense, it differs from conservatorship, in which a person petitions the court to be granted decision-making authority on behalf of an incapacitated adult. A durable power of attorney does not include the principal’s specific instructions and final wishes regarding medical treatment and therefore should not be regarded as a substitute for an advance health care directive.