Common law dictates that individuals possess autonomy and self-determination until the point of incapacity. Competency refers to the mental ability and cognitive capabilities required to execute a legally recognized act, rationally. So if we become irrational or incapacitated, what happens then?

In the state of California an Advance Health Care Directive lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don’t want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation.

Without an Advance Healthcare Directive, a family member of an incapacitated person will be forced to file a motion with a California court for conservatorship and be appointed Conservator of the Person. Only then will they have the ability to direct your healthcare decisions.

At Vanguard, every Will & Trust package includes an Advance Healthcare Directive that allows you to get the care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve the burden of decision making from loved ones during moments of crisis or grief.