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The Importance of Advance Healthcare Directives

To many people estate planning is simply the process of getting one's affairs in order so that their assets and property will be distributed to their ones they love at death. While it is true that a last will and testament is an important document that assigns guardianship, determines beneficiaries and divides an estate for distribution to your chosen heirs, there are other estate planning tools which must be considered as well. What if you become mentally or physically incapacitated before your death? Who will have power to act on your behalf? How will your doctors and loved ones know what treatments you want and to what extent you want them to go to keep you alive?

An advance health care directive is an important estate planning tool designed to inform your health care providers, loved ones and heirs about how you wish to be treated if a serious medical situation arises. Your advanced healthcare directive should include instructions as to the measures you do or do not want doctors to provide in extending your life, such as whether you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops, if you want to be kept on life support, if you want to undergo potentially life-saving surgeries, and other important matters. An advanced healthcare directive can also be used to appoint an individual as your agent, who will be given the power of attorney to make decisions for you, and if you become unable to do so. If you do not have an advanced healthcare directive, you could be put on life support against your wishes, and the assets and estate you originally intended to go to your loved ones, may be used to provide extended medical care that you would not have wanted, and that will not return you to a healthy state.

Our firm has years of experience helping clients fulfill their estate planning objectives and we are dedicated to giving people the legal protection they deserve. To learn more about the benefits of having an advance healthcare directive to protect yourself, your loved ones and your hard-earned assets in the event that you need urgent medical attention and are unable speak for yourself, we strongly advise you contact the Law Offices of Timothy D. Henry right away. A skilled San Jose estate planning attorney will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have and we will work diligently to assist you in creating an advance healthcare directive that will give you peace of mind.