What is an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD)?
Hi, this is Marc Herbert, founder of Herbert Law Office with the Question of the Week, which is Why do I need an advanced health care directive? According to the CDC, about 70% of all adults will be incapacitated at some point during our lives. If you have an advanced health care directive, your trusted agent is going to be able to enforce your written wishes when dealing with your doctors or hospital staff.
Without an advanced health care directive, they won’t be able to get any information about you usually, and then some other family member, somebody you might not trust has an opportunity to go to court to get a conservatorship, to control your health care and sometimes even your finances. So it’s always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. And an advanced health care directive is one of the essential pillars of any good estate plan.
So an advanced health care directive, again, is just a written set of directions to your doctors and hospital staff about the treatment that you want and the treatment that you don’t want. But again, if you’re verbal, you can still control the medical treatment that you receive. This is only in case you’re nonverbal or you’re facing some debilitating illness.
Now, anyone over 18 years old really needs to have an advanced health care directive. So when our kids leave for college or if they enlist in the military, perhaps it’s always a good idea to have an advanced health care directive in place, because once they’re over 18, lots of doctors and hospitals will not provide information to parents of adult children due to HIPA restrictions.
If you have an advanced health care directive in place, then the agents are empowered and the doctors actually have to tell you what’s the diagnosis, what’s the prognosis? What’s the course of treatment for our adult children? And then you also have the authority to enforce their written directions. Now, many attorneys will draft an advanced health care directive, and then they’ll do a separate document for that HIPA waiver, and then they’ll do another document for what they call a living will, which is really just end of life decisions.
I always recommend using just one document, though, and including all those elements into a single advanced health care directive. So when you come to Herbert Law office, we will prepare a one single document for you with the name and contact information of your trusted agent. We build the hippo waiver right into the document, as well as your end of life decisions regarding nutrition, hydrate and medications, including pain meds and antibiotics, even a DNR or a do not resuscitate order if you like.
We can also do organ donations. All donations. Some donations, no donations, whichever you prefer. And we also provide the name and contact information for your primary physician. All of that is built into one document, so there are many options available to really customize your advanced health care directive, and it’s easy to update or amend in the future as situations change.
If you have any questions about this information, just give us a call at 6612739007. If you have a family member or friend who might find this information helpful, feel free to forward it to them. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.