When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical POA, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive.
An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed.
Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably.
In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in California.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Anyone can be your witness in California if
Note: Your witnesses cannot be:
At the time of writing the Advance Directive at least one witness must be a patient advocate or ombudsman when you are a patient in a skilled nursing facility.
Note: California state laws require the witnesses to sign the form and give in writing their declaration or you can give an acknowledgment before the public notary.
Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in California if
Who cannot be your Proxy/Agent:
Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:
Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.
A certificate stating that you have been advised of your rights would be signed by your lawyer if you want your conservator (appointed under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act) to be your agent, as well. Or you may mention in your advance directive a nomination for the individual appointed as your conservator, if necessary. The court will consider your nomination in any protective proceeding.
You can either get an Advance Directive executed by signing the form in presence of the witnesses or get your signature notarized by signing an acknowledgment in front of the public notary.
The state of California maintains California Advance Directive Registry. Your healthcare providers and loved ones would easily find a copy of your directive if you file your advance directive with the registry.
In California, an Advance Directive doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.
Note: Your California Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency unless you become incapacitated to understand and communicate your wishes and consent.
You can revoke or terminate your California Advance Directive anytime by:
Note: An oral revocation of the Advance Directive or appointment of the Proxy/Agent will be effective once you give a written and signed revocation to your doctor.
You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in California but once you have signed and witnessed/notarized it you have to resubmit a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.
Divorce from the spouse will not make any effect on the validity of the California Advance Directive unless the spouse was named under Section 1 as the Proxy/Agent then you have to make changes and fill a new document of Advance Directive. The divorce or annulment of marriage will revoke the California Advance Directive with immediate effect.
You can fill this form out and provide all the details. The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow.
On the left side, you will find a gray box that contains all the instructions that will help you in the application process.
This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either:
You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required.
Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records.
Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes
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