Don’t ‘Do it Yourself’ When Creating an Advance Health Care Directive

When creating your estate plan, it is important to consider your health care needs and wishes now, while you are of sound mind and have full mental capacity. An advance health care directive allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It also allows you to outline your wishes for health care if you’re incapacitated or nearing the end of your life. It is crucial, however, to ensure that this document is valid in order for it to work when you need it to.

8 Tips to Ensure Your Advance Health Care Directive Is Valid

How can you ensure that your advance health care directive will be valid? The following are eight helpful tips:

  1. Seek assistance from an experienced legal professional. While the forms for an advanced health care directive can often be found online, it is still wise to ensure that its creation is handled by a legal profession, so it is sure to be valid.
  2. Be of legal adult age—18 or older.
  3. Ensure that you are of sound mind. This means that you understand what the document means, the information that it contains, and how it works.
  4. Appoint someone who is legally authorized to serve as your agent. This generally means any person that you choose, with some exceptions. Examples of these exceptions include your treating health care provider or his or her employee, an operator or employee of a community care facility, or an operator or employee of a residential care facility for the elderly. There are some exceptions to these exclusions, however, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney for guidance on choosing your agent.
  5. Make sure you sign the document in all of the necessary places, or have it signed by another adult at your direction.
  6. Ensure that the document is dated.
  7. Sign the document in front of a notary and two witnesses.
  8. Ensure that an electronic advance health care directive meets all of the requirements to be a valid digital document as outlined in the California Probate Code.

Are you ready to take the next steps for creating an estate plan? We encourage you to contact us today at (714) 459-5481 for more information.

 

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