California Living Will & Health Care Forms
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Make your Living Will Today! A living will is a document that allows you to specify what should be done about life-sustaining procedures if, in the future, your death from a terminal condition is imminent despite the application of life-sustaining procedures or you are in a persistent vegetative state. Some States use documents with other names which serve the same function as a living will.
Living Wills - Advance Health Care Directives
Statutory Health Care Directive including Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Will, Anatomical Gift, Primary Physician Designation
» This healthcare directive allows you to name another individual as agent to make health care decisions for you if you become incapable of making your own decisions or if you want someone else to make those decisions for you now even though you are still capable. It also lets you give specific instructions about any aspect of your health care, whether or not you appoint an agent. The form also contains provisions for anatomical gifts and primary physician designation.
Health Care Power of Attorney Forms
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
»This form is a durable power of attorney for health care. This document gives your agent authority to consent, to refuse to consent, or to withdraw consent to any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat a physical or mental condition. This power is subject to any statement of your desires and any limitations that you include in this document. The principal must list his/her desires, special provisions, and limitations. This form may be also used to specify the agent's authority to authorize an autopsy, anatomical donation, or disposition of remains. The principal may also use this form if he/she wants to limit the term of the durable power of attorney.
Adults in all States have the right to make decisions about their health care. They are given the right to accept or reject medical or surgical treatment after being informed of their options. Health care decisions can be made by you, or an agent you appoint to make decisions if you are not capable of making the decision at that time. Forms used for health care matters vary from State to State, but generally are one or more of the following: Living Will, Heath Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, health care proxy and others. A Living Will may also be called a Declaration, Living Will Declaration, Health Care Declaration, Health Care Directive, Advance Health Care Directive, Health Care Proxy and others. Sometime you will see the form named Statutory Living Will or Statutory Health Care Directive. Some States also provide you with the option of more than one form, such as either a Living Will or a Health Care Directive.
Note: All forms available for your State will be listing in the search results when you click on the living will link above. You will be provided with a description of each form, as well as a law summary to assist you in choosing the correct form.
Although the term Living Will may indicate that it is a Will, in reality, it is more similar to a Power of Attorney than a Will. Therefore, don't be confused by the title of the document. The purpose of a living will is to allow you to make decisions about life support and directs others to implement your desires in that regard.
Living Wills are needed because advances in medicine allow doctors to prolong and sustain life although the person will not recover from a persistent vegetative state. Some people would not desire to remain in that state while others would. Extending life when death is imminent to some people is only extending the suffering and prolonging the dying process.
The Living Will allows you to make the decision of whether life-prolonging medical or surgical procedures are to be continued, or withheld or withdrawn, as well as when artificial feeding and fluids are to be used or withheld. It allows you to express your wishes prior to being incapacitated. Your physicians or health care providers are directed by the Living Will to follow your instructions. You may revoke the Living Will prior to becoming incapacitated. The procedures for revocation are provided in the forms listed.
To be valid, the proper form must be used for your State and it must be executed in compliance with the laws of your State. Some States require two witnesses to witness your signature or that the form be signed in the presence of a Notary public, or both. The forms provided on this site indicate which is required.
If the form provides for the appointment of an agent, the agent appointed should not also be a witness to your signature. The agent appointed to carry out your wishes is sometimes called a Health Care Representative.
The Living Will generally becomes operative when it is provided to your physician or health care provider AND you are incapable of making health care decisions for yourself, such as where you are permanently unconscious or terminally ill and unable to communicate.
Durable power of attorney for Health Care
A durable power of attorney for health care is used to appoint an agent to make health care decisions for you and usually includes the power of the agent to make decisions regarding terminal conditions and whether to prolong life. However, if you have a Living Will, the directions of the Living Will control over the durable power of attorney, because you have already made the decision of what is to be done under certain circumstances. Many people use a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Living Will because they do not want to place the agent in the position of making decisions regarding choice in dying. The agent still has authority to make other health care decisions for you when you cannot make the decision yourself in situations where you need medical attention but are not terminally ill or in a permanent coma.
Users selecting a Living Will
Last Will and Testament
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