Advance Directive Attorneys in Redlands, California

Recent studies have found that 70% of Americans prefer to be at home with loved ones when they face the end, but only 25% are actually able to do so. In addition, according to the California Attorney General’s Office, the most sought-after free legal aid advice concerns end-of-life decisions.

None of us really wants to contemplate our final days, nor do we anticipate that we could end up in a hospital incapacitated and unable to communicate our medical choices to those trying to save our life.

This is where a document known as a living will, or advance health care directive, comes into focus. With this legal instrument, you can dictate how you wish to be cared for in a life-or-death situation. This relieves your loved ones from speculating over what treatments you should or should not receive, and it allows your appointed agent the power to speak for you when you can’t.

An advance directive is an essential component of estate planning. After all, no one can foresee future catastrophes, so it’s best to have a plan in place to ensure that your wishes are honored.

The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, will help you in all your estate planning needs and guide you in creating an advance directive to prepare for any medical eventuality. If you live in Redlands, California, or in the surrounding areas of Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, or Riverside, contact the estate planning professionals at The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC for a comprehensive estate planning review — including the need for an advance directive.

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What Is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive, also known as a living will, is not to be confused with a living trust or a standard will. Both a living trust and a will (or last will and testament) concern the distribution of your assets after you’re gone. In contrast, a living will details how you wish to be treated medically, should you ever end up hospitalized and unable to speak for yourself.

In an advance directive, you can specify, among other choices:

  • Whether you wish to receive CPA, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to revive your heart and keep it beating
  • Whether you wish to be placed on a ventilator
  • Whether you wish to undergo dialysis to remove waste from your system
  • Whether you wish to receive antibiotics or antiviral medications
  • Whether you wish to be artificially nourished or hydrated through IVs or tubes inserted through your nose
  • Whether you wish to receive comfort care such as morphine and/or medications
  • Whether you wish to be buried or cremated should you die
  • Whether you wish to donate your organs once you’re gone

How an Advance Directive Works

An advance directive is basically a medical power of attorney, in which you name an agent, or attorney-in-fact, to carry out your wishes as specified in the document. 

You should name someone you trust who knows you well and will honor your wishes. You can also name an alternate or alternates, should the first-named be unwilling or unable to perform the duties when you become incapacitated. The only person you cannot name is a health care provider unless that person is related to you.

Like any power of attorney, your advance directive must be signed by you when you are 18 years of age or older and witnessed by two others or notarized. It can be changed or canceled at any time. You should make sure that not only your appointed agent and any alternates, but also your family, loved ones, attorney, and physician have copies so that your wishes can be honored.

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An advance directive should be well thought out, not just rushed to print on a spur-of-the-moment impulse. Your end-of-life decisions are, of course, highly personal, but others are going to be affected by your choices. Accordingly, creating an advance directive should be part of a larger, more comprehensive estate planning review that takes into account the wishes and needs of your loved ones as well as your own. 

If you or someone you know is contemplating an advance directive or wants to learn more about putting together a comprehensive estate plan for their future, contact The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC today.

Advance Directive Attorneys Serving
Redlands, California

The estate planning attorneys at The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC stand by ready to discuss your unique circumstances and provide you with the information you need to make sound decisions for your future and the future of your family and loved ones. Reach out today for an estate planning and advance directive review. The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC is proud to serve clients in Redlands, California, and the neighboring communities of Riverside, Palm Springs, and Rancho Cucamonga.