Advance Healthcare Directive

An Advance Healthcare Directive is one of the most important of the four components to complete an estate plan. An Advance Healthcare Directive can be used on its own and should be on hand at all times.

If you are above 18 years of age, you need to create an Advance Healthcare Directive as soon as possible.

This is to ensure your health and safety is taken care of by someone you know and trust. If your answer to these questions is “yes” then you need to create an Advance Healthcare Directive immediately.

  • Am I at least 18 years of age?
  • If something were to happen to me today, do I know who I would want to talk to my doctors for my healthcare decisions if I could not?
  • Is my health important to me?

Call for an Advance Healthcare Directive today!
We are here to help protect you in the best way we can. In order to do so, we ask that every client create an Advance Healthcare Directive to provide to their doctor and trusted family members who may need to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity.

    What is an Advance Healthcare Directive?

    An Advance Healthcare Directive is an extremely important document. It allows a person that you appoint, called an Agent or an Attorney-in-Fact to make healthcare decisions when you are unable to do so yourself. Medical advances have allowed patients to remain alive using life support systems sometimes for an indefinite period of time which means more healthcare decisions. 

    One of the most important instructions your Advance Healthcare Directive can have is instructions for someone to represent you in dealing with healthcare professionals and to carry out your instructions if you were to become hospitalized or incapacitated.

    With strict new health care privacy rules…

    … it’s crucial for everyone to create an Advance Healthcare Directive that specifically names the person or persons who are entitled to access to health care information about you. This includes your kids heading off to college!

    Under the privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers may no longer freely discuss a patient’s status or health with spouses or other family members — unless the providers have in hand signed consent forms from the patient. The instrument must refer specifically to HIPAA.

    The Advance Healthcare Directive generally takes effect only when a physician determines that you are unable to communicate your wishes concerning treatment. If you later become able to express your own wishes, you will be listened to and the Advance Healthcare Directive will no longer be in effect. Since the agent will have the authority to make medical decisions in the event you are unable to make such decisions yourself, the agent should be a family member or friend whom you trust to follow your instructions.

    Before executing an Advance Healthcare Directive, you should talk to the person you want to name as the Agent about your wishes concerning medical decisions, especially life-sustaining treatment.

    Once the Advance Healthcare Directive is prepared and signed, your Agent should keep the original document, or at least have access to it if you keep it. You should have a copy and your physician should also keep a copy with your medical records. We can provide you access to your Advance Healthcare Directive via our online portal so you can access the document anytime.

    If you are interested in drawing up an Advance Healthcare Directive contact us immediately at 800-244-8814.

    Why Copenbarger & Copenbarger LLP?

    We are a full-service law firm that has been serving families throughout California since 1979. Since the beginning, our firm’s goal has been to protect clients just like you and families just like yours by protecting your legacy and resources for generations to come. We recognize that every person is a unique individual with unique needs and circumstances. We aim to be your first resource for all professional needs and to ensure that your choices, your wishes, and your legacy are protected.

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