Making Health Care Directives in California

An Advance Health Care Directive is a legal device commonly used in incapacity planning that allows you to name a person to make medical decisions for you in case you should become disabled.  You may have also heard this legal document referred to as a Medical Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. The person that you name to make medical decisions for you may be called your agent or advocate. Along with your medical decisions, the Directive also lets your health care advocate and doctors know your wishes regarding how long you should be left on life support, if it is needed. Helps Avoid Conservatorship The main benefit of a health care directive is that it helps you to avoid a conservatorship, which is a court proceeding that declares you mentally disabled and names someone to make choices for you. A conservatorship takes your choice of medical agent out of your hands and places in the hands of a court who may not know you and therefore may not be able to


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