Drafting Health Care Directives and Powers of Attorney That Speak for You When You Can't Speak for Yourself
Creating sound documents that direct your health care wishes
At Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation, I provide caring, professional legal advice regarding health care directives and powers of attorney. These important estate-planning tools ensure your wishes are upheld in the event that you become incapacitated. They also serve to relieve family members of the burden of making difficult choices should you no longer be able to make those choices yourself. I have drafted both kinds of documents for clients in Orange County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years.
What is a health care directive?
A health care directive is a document in which you express your wishes for the kind of medical treatment you want when you cannot express those wishes yourself. A health care directive is not a will or trust, but it is an important part of estate planning that you seriously should consider and discuss with your spouse, partner, or closest and most trusted family member.
The directions in your health care directive come into play if you become incapacitated — such as after suffering a serious stroke or accident. Also, the directive can guide your health care providers in the event that you suffer from dementia, Alzheimer's, or any condition that impairs your ability to communicate.
Simply discussing your wishes with a loved one but not documenting them can lead to misunderstandings and disputes, and you might not receive the care that you want. At Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation, my genuine concern for my clients helps me to prepare health care directives for you. I advise you and write the documentation in accordance with your wishes and California legal guidelines.
What is power of attorney?
Power of attorney is a formal document in which you grant power to someone else to handle your medical care or your finances. This person often a spouse or adult child, should be chosen with care because you are handing over a significant responsibility. You want to assign power of attorney to someone who is trustworthy, responsible and willing to devote the time to it.
There are many types of powers of attorney:
- Durable — A durable power of attorney assigns someone to handle your health care or finances indefinitely in the event you become mentally incapacitated and cannot handle those responsibilities yourself.
- Limited — A limited power of attorney lasts for only a specific time and ends on the date that you specify.
- Medical — This power of attorney specifically assigns someone else the authority to make medical decisions for you should you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
- Statutory — A statutory power of attorney is a generic form issued by the state. I do not recommend it, however because it might not provide adequate protections.
- Uniform statutory — Another generic power-of-attorney form issued by California, this grants broad powers regarding property and financial matters, but it does not cover health care. Because of its general nature and broad powers, I do not recommend it.
For a power of attorney that meets your specific goals, it's best to consult an estate planning lawyer. At Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation, I have more than 30 years' experience in powers of attorney and other estate planning matters. I give you sound, professional advice.
To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your questions about health care directives and powers of attorney, contact my office today
Health care directives and powers of attorney can have a significant impact on your medical care and finances. At Genevieve Wall, A Law Corporation, I answer your questions and prepare these documents for you. Call me at 949.859.0861 or contact me online. With more than 30 years' experience in trusts and estate planning, I serve clients from throughout Orange County and Southern California. Set in the Laguna Hills Civic Center, City Hall building, my office offers free parking, and is accessible by public transportation.
"I have worked with Genevieve over the past ten years since my mother's stroke. She helped me with advanced directives, power of attorney, and through the probate stages. As executor of the estate, I was able to rely on her guidance throughout the process."
–5.0 Rating ★★★★★
"Ms. Wall has been of great assistance in competently preparing our family trusts and assisting with all matters pertaining to the recent death of my mother in law. She is the best example of the professionalism and care for clients that characterizes a great attorney and counselor."
–5.0 Rating ★★★★★