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Advance directives explained

Most view estate planning as being limited to you stipulating how you want your assets dispersed to your designated beneficiaries in Westminster once you pass on. Yet another important element to the process is planning out how you wished to be cared for before you die. Many that we here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen $ Associates work with may wish to avoid the pain and suffering that can accompany an extended illness, preferring to instead instruct caretakers to not take extraordinary measures in order to extend their lives. If you share the same desire, then you will want to state that in the form of an advance directive. 

Advance directives are predetermined instructions that you create for healthcare providers that dictate how you wish to be treated in certain situations. Many choose to create them in lieu of assigning another power of attorney. Their basic purpose is to communicate your desires regarding your medical care if you are unable to do so yourself. Your advance directives are included in your medical record so that clinicians can see them whenever you present for treatment. 

Section 4673 of the California Probate Code states that a written advance directive is valid if it contains the date of its execution and is signed by you or another under your direction. It typically must be verified by a notary public, however the signatures of two witnesses can substitute for a notary's verification. These witnesses can be anyone except: 

  • Your healthcare provider
  • The owner or an employee of a community or residential care center
  • The agent to whom you have assigned power of attorney

You can learn more about preparing for your end-of-life care by continuing to explore our site. 

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