Continuing The Tradition Of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  » When should someone create an advance health care directive? 

When should someone create an advance health care directive? 

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2024 | Estate Planning |

The purpose of an advance health care directive is to guide the medical treatment that someone receives if they cannot speak on their own behalf. An advance health care directive executed in compliance with California law can designate what kind of treatment someone should receive and even give information about whom they would like to provide their care.

Unfortunately, many people don’t think of advance health care directives as a necessary estate planning document and might forgo the creation of one even if they take the time to create a will. Many of these adults might assume that advance health care directives are only necessary when they’re elderly or after a diagnosis of a terminal illness. When should an adult consider drafting an advance health care directive?

Earlier is almost always better

People can become seriously injured or ill at almost any age. Once someone turns 18, their parents can no longer make medical decisions on their behalf.

Therefore, it is often advisable for even 18-year-olds to draft advance health care directives detailing their medical preferences. They should also name a health care agent with power of attorney to discuss their care with the medical team and advocate for their wishes. That way, there is a clear record of someone’s preferences and an individual empowered to act on those wishes.

Without the right preparation, someone may be at the mercy of the current practices of the medical facility that provides them with emergency care. Putting an advance health care directive in place and designating a health care agent are smart moves for adults of every age.