An Advance Health Directive is a formal way of giving instructions for your future health care and comes into effect only if you are unable to make your own decisions. It allows you to express your wishes in a general or specific way as to the medical treatments and health care and medical advice should be sought as part of the process.
It is an important part of any estate or succession plan that anyone over the age of 18 years of age can make in consultation with their medical and legal advisors, as long as they have the capacity to do so.
Forward planning is highly recommended. An Advance Health Directive should not be left until it is too late (such as when a medical or health condition arises) and can be particularly important for:-
- Upcoming surgery or hospital attendances;
- A medical diagnosis that may progress and result in the loss of capacity; or
- A chronic or hereditary condition or illness that could result in complications or loss of capacity.
It is also recommended that prior to making any Advance Health Directive, your wishes regarding future treatment and choices regarding particular medical care are discussed with family and friends to ensure a proper plan is enacted for your future care.
Our estate planning lawyers can work with your medical practitioner to ensure your directions are properly documented and adhered to as to medical treatments becomes effective should you lose mental capacity.