There is no question that making major decisions about one’s own health can be difficult and can require a significant amount of consideration. California residents may struggle to decide just how much support they want from doctors and nurses if they need to be hospitalized and may not be able to communicate their own wishes. However, once they have plans for how they want their care managed, they may want to take proactive steps to ensure that those plans are followed.

These plans can be recorded in the individual’s advance health care directive. This estate planning tool directs medical care providers on how the individual wants to be cared for in the unfortunate event that they lose their capacity to communicate. In situations in which patients are in comas or otherwise incapacitated, advance health care directives can be imperative to ensuring they are treated in accordance with their wishes.

Particularly, in an advance health care directive, a person may communicate if they want life-extending measures utilized if they are seriously injured or battling significant illnesses. Not all individuals want extraordinary care in these cases and may opt to allow their conditions to progress without extra interventions.

An alternative to an advance health care directive is a durable power of attorney. In such a document, an individual may give another person the power to make health care decisions for them if they lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves. These two estate planning tools have special requirements and any readers who want to execute them for inclusion in their own estate plans may want to get more information about their own unique estate plans.

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