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Answers To Questions About Advance Health Care Directives

Understanding living wills, powers of attorney, and advance health directives affect your family is a crucially important part of an effective estate planning strategy.

At the law offices of Paul V. L. Campo Attorney At Law, we have been answering questions about ways to use health care directives effectively for more than three decades. Below are some broad overview answers to common questions we are frequently asked.

Q: Won’t my spouse automatically get the right to make health care decisions for me?

A: Marriage does not automatically allow the healthy spouse to make health care decisions for the other, incapacitated spouse, absent written authority granting such rights. California uses a document known as the advance health care directive to create these rights.

Q: I have a power of attorney for health care. Isn’t that good enough?

A: It takes the place of the former durable power of attorney for health care, and the former physician’s directive (commonly known as the living will). The advance health care directive allows the principal to designate one or more agents to make health care decisions when he or she is unable to do so.

Q: What about complicated decisions about organ harvesting?

A: The advance health care directive also allows you to put your decisions in writing, so your family won’t be left with tough emotional choices. You can stipulate your choices regarding end-of-life pain medication, life support, allow organ harvesting after death, your primary care physician and much more.

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