Share

Alameda, CA Estate Planning Blog

Sunday, September 6, 2015

You've Done your Healthcare Directives - Now What?

You’ve Finally Done Your Healthcare Directives – Now What?

Healthcare directives can be vitally important, as court cases, like that of Terry Schiavo, clearly brought to light. These important documents can mean the difference between your health care wishes being carried out or family members fighting over whether a loved one should be placed in a nursing home or removed from life support. Healthcare directives usually include both a healthcare power of attorney and a living will, or a form which is a combination of the two. In a healthcare power of attorney, an individual authorizes another individual to make healthcare decisions for him or her if the individual becomes unable to do so. A living will expresses an individual’s preferences about life support.

Once you have executed your healthcare directives, you may be uncertain as to what to do with them. First, you should make copies of the documents and inform others of their existence. In addition to your health care agent, persons you should consider notifying of the directives include family members and your health care providers.  Ideally, the originals should be kept in a place that is both safe and easily accessible.

You may wish to consider using a service to store your healthcare directives. Such services allow you to access healthcare directives any time and in any location with access to the Internet.  Some also allow the documents to be accessed via an automated fax-back service. At our firm, we use a company called Docubank to store all of our client's important health care documents. In addition to providing the healthcare directives, many registries also allow caregivers to access information like emergency contacts, allergies, and other pertinent medical information.

You should review your healthcare directives regularly.  As individuals get older, their preferences about health care and life support change, and it’s important that your directives reflect your current health care wishes.   Of course, life changing events such as marriage, divorce, or the death of a loved one typically require changes in those documents to ensure that the people named in them are still those you wish to make decisions on your behalf.  

Moving to another state? Many states provide that healthcare directives prepared in another state are valid, but you should consult an attorney to make sure your wishes will be carried out in the manner you desire.

Establishing your healthcare directives can spare your family a great deal of anguish if they need to make decisions at a time that is already very emotionally-charged. By keeping the documents in a secure place, providing copies to loved ones, and reviewing them regularly, you can be more certain that your healthcare wishes will be carried out.

One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like yours plan for the protection of yourself and your family through thoughtful estate planning.  Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk through a Family Estate and Legacy Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family. Call us today at 510.992.6773.


 


Archived Posts

2017
2016
2015


The Law Office of Cassandra C. Massey, P.C. is located in the City of Alameda, Alameda County, and serving the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa, Solano & San Francisco Bay Area.



© 2017 Law Office of Cassandra C. Massey, P.C. | Disclaimer
1151 Harbor Bay Parkway, 206E, Alameda, CA 94502
| Phone: 510.992.6773

Estate Planning Overview | Advanced Estate Planning | Estate Planning with Wills | Guardianships / Conservatorships | Planning for Children | Probate / Estate Administration | Special Needs Planning | Trusts & Estate Planning | | About Us | Clients | Getting Started

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative