Advance Health Care Directives, often referred to as Living Wills, Advance Medical Directives or Powers of Attorney for Health Care are important estate planning documents for individuals from 18 to 80 and beyond .

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

In California, the Advance Health Care Directive is typically a “3-in-1” document.

In the first part, you identify person(s) to serve as your agents(s) to make medical decisions for you if your medical condition prevents you from making those decisions. For example, I arrive at the hospital unconscious, although my condition is not life ending. The physician determines that there are three alternate operative procedures that will correct my medical condition. The physician will typically consult with my health care agent(s) on which one of the three procedures to employ.

Importantly, the Agent is my ADVOCATE when I am unable to speak for myself, whether I am in an acute hospital setting a long term care facility.