Creating an Advance Healthcare Directive Shows Your Family You Love Them

 

 

A friend of mine relayed a story to me the other day.  He said his father told him “your mom doesn’t have the stomach for it, so you’ll have to decide whether to pull the plug on me.”  I thought to myself that this position is either not well thought out, or kind of chicken!  Likely just not well thought out and fairly innocent knowing his dad.  I think most people would fall into this category because most folks don’t like to think about their own demise, or just don’t think all the way though the scenario.  If you have been around a situation like this, it forces you to consider the impact on the survivors. 

 

 

In another situation I was in, a member of my family passed, and the hospital kept calling to ask if we would allow a retina donation.  Apparently time is of the essence, and they have to obtain the retinas fairly quickly or it is of no use.  I don’t fault the hospital, but consider what that does to the family that is grieving. 

 

 

If you answer these questions for your family in advance, you remove the stress, guilt, and potential fighting among family members.  Think about this – if you have an Advance Healthcare Directive filled out, then if the hard decisions come up, the call has already been made, and the family doesn’t have to stress about it and can say “that’s what dad wants” no matter what the decision is.

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

 

Give me a call today and see how affordable a quality Estate Plan that is 100% attorney advised, and 100% attorney prepared can be.   A proper Estate Plan usually contains a Revocable Living Trust, Pour-over Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Healthcare Directive, Certificate of Trust (times 2), Summary of Trust, HIPPA Release, Funding help, and I include document review meeting, revisions, initial meeting, signing meeting, notary fees, and specific funding.

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

William Daniel Powell

 

619-980-2297

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.

Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.

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Benefits of an Advance Health Care Directive

 

What Does an Advance Health Care Directive Do?

Sometimes people call an Advance Directive by different names including “Living Will”, or “Health Care Power of Attorney”.  These are actually different than an Advance Healthcare Directive.  Some of the differences are explained here in this blog.  For the most part, if you are starting fresh or updating your Estate Plan, an Advance Health Care Directive will replace any of these older planning methods should one already be in place. 

 

An Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD, or AHD) allows a person to:

 

  • Receive desired and specific medical treatment
  • Refuse undesired medical treatment
  • Unlike a “Living Will” which only allows for you to state your desire not to receive life-sustaining treatment if you are terminally ill, an AHCD allows you to declare your desire to receive or reject life-sustaining treatment in any situation.
  • Name an Agent to assist in decision making during a time in which a person would otherwise be incapable of expressing their desires.

 

On the last point of naming an Agent, think of it this way – just as you have other “helpers” in your life such as Trustee’s, Accountants, etc., so would you have one in this situation.

 

There are three distinct aspects to all Advance Healthcare Directives.  The first is that it serves as an Instruction Directive that provides your specific instructions for a variety of situations.  The second aspect is that is also a Health Care Power of Attorney which allows another to supplement your instructions because it is impossible to provide direction for each and every situation.  The third aspect is that an Advanced Healthcare Directive allows you to express your wishes for tissue and organ donation. 

 

 

The most important role the Advance Health Care Directive can play is to show your family and loved ones just how much you love them.  Sounds strange by itself doesn’t it?  But if you think about it, and if you’ve ever been in the situation, you can do so much to help your family.  I sat at the end of a hospital bed after a family member of mine had passed.  Soon after he had passed, the phone rang and because there were no instructions provided in advance, a decision was required to be made by the family on tissue donation.  Because time is of the essence on many of such decisions, the calls tend to keep coming.  I don’t begrudge the individual asking as they are trying to do good for other people, but you can imagine the stress this can place on the family as to exactly what to do in such a situation.  You can easily prevent this by telling your loved ones your wishes in advance.

 

 

 

Some Other Useful Documents

 

You own your medical information.  However, because of HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) health care providers are limited in who they can reveal information to and you can and must tell them who may have access to the information for planning purposes.  It is generally advisable to achieve this with another document called a HIPPA Release. 

 

 

A good supplement to an Advance Health Care Directive is a POLST which stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.  POLST, however, is not for everybody.  POLST is best reserved for the seriously ill, or those expected to live for around a year or less.  A fully executed POLST takes your end-of-life health care wishes are translated into actionable physician orders.  Thus, your wishes are implemented without delay and without change.  A POLST is not intended to replace an Advance Health Care Directive.  The major points to remember is that an AHCD is best for anyone over 18 years of age, and a POLST is best for the seriously ill.  The AHCD appoints an Agent to help in making decisions in the event you haven’t and cannot.  The AHCD deals primarily with future treatment, and the POLST deals with current treatment.  The POLST translates into physician orders which are to be followed and provide only the treatment the patient wishes to receive.

 

 

Am I too Young to Worry About Planning?

 

Think about this – some of the most famous stories involving health care and end-of-life decisions, including Terri Schiavo, involve some relatively young people.  Terri Schiavo was in her 40’s. 

 

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

 

My most important job is to listen to you and your goals, then create the best estate plan to achieve these results.  Call me today and let’s start planning!

 

 

Thank you for reading!

 

William Daniel Powell

1-619-980-2297

 

 

****Reminder****

Just like my website, nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am licensed to practice law in California.  Further, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog (and on my website). There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would not be practical to discuss all of them here. This is why I speak in generalities. Thanks again for reading.

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This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.

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