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What is an Advanced Healthcare Directive and Why It is Important

Posted by Mark Ruiz | Oct 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

As part of my Comprehensive Estate Planning package, I offer a Living Trust, a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive.  My experience is that most people know what a Living Trust is but are not so familiar with what an Advanced Healthcare Directive is. Today I am going to discuss that briefly.

An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a document that appoints a person to make medical decisions for your and also specifies things like the extent to which a person wants life support, artificial foods and fluids, pain medication, etc., in the event of a serious illness.  The document also mentions the name and address of your primary care provider.  Furthermore the document may specify what is to happen with your remains after you pass away, whether or not you authorize an autopsy, whether you want to be an organ donator, and whether your remains to be interred or cremated.

When does the Advanced Healthcare Directive take affect? People can provide that the advanced healthcare directive take effect immediately or alternately they can require a determination by one or more medical professionals that they are not able to make decisions for themselves.  

Most people name their spouse, a child, a sibling or a close friend as their Power of Attorney for Healthcare.  People can also provide for a back up.

I recommend that most people have a healthcare Directive.  Many hospitals today provide for simple forms that can be filled out, or of course, an attorney can prepare a more detailed and comprehensive documents.


This article is intended for general information purposes only.  Any legal analysis or other content should not be construed as legal or professional advice or substitute for such advice.  No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by transmission of information.  If you require legal or professional advice, please contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  The choice of an attorney or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements and blog postings.


About the Author

Mark Ruiz

Mark A. Ruiz Attorney/Owner Mark  primarily focuses on Business Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning.  He holds a Bachelors Degree from Santa Clara University with an emphasis in Business/Marketing and a Law Degree from the University of San Francisco with a Business Law Certificate.  He ...


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