What Are The Consequences of NOT Having An Advance Health Care Directive

What Are The Consequences of NOT Having An Advance Health Care Directive
Velasco law Mar 24 2020

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

The global pandemic of Coronavirus / COVID-19 has the world focused on its most vulnerable and elderly populations; however, recent reports and information confirm that millennials and Gen Y’s are also at risk.  Many nursing homes have stopped allowing visitors in an effort to keep their residents safe. That feeling of being sick and stuck in isolation and, in some cases, bed-ridden and gravely ill, without any available remedy or relief, often leads to extreme feelings of solitude and loneliness.  Many reports coming in from Italy and other countries and communities that have been especially hit hard by the current pandemic describe the emotional trauma experienced by medical professionals who must watch the sick die—afraid and often alone—and helpless to do anything about it. 

“Stay At Home” Mandate

California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, has ordered 40 million Californians to stay at home and practice social distancing.  He is predicting 56% of the State will be infected by the novel Coronavirus. Sadly, from that number, there will be many deaths. 

What If This is You or Your Loved Ones?

In light of what is happening in the rest of the world, we must all face the reality that this disease may eventually touch one of us or someone close to us.  Once diagnosed, a patient is quarantined and cared for in isolation. Family members will not be able to visit and, in some cases, unable to connect or communicate with the patient for some portion, or all, of the quarantine period.  Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you have an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) in place as soon as possible.

What Are Your Options?

  1. If you have an estate plan, review the entire plan to ensure that it includes an AHCD that accurately reflects your personal wishes regarding important health care decisions in case you are unable, for any reason, to make decisions for yourself.  The AHCD should also designate the individuals that you want making those health care decisions for you and carrying out your wishes as expressed in the directive. If you currently have an AHCD and it requires modifications, please make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys. 
  2. If you don’t currently have an estate plan, find out how you can at least implement the AHCD portion of an estate plan HERE
  3. If you have the time now, speak with one of our attorneys about how you can get a comprehensive estate plan done to protect your family and prevent your property and assets from being subject to the expensive and time-consuming California Probate process. 
    • (A comprehensive estate plan includes the preparation of your AHCD)

Unfortunately, fewer than thirty percent (30%) of American adults have signed advance directives that set forth explicit instructions regarding their healthcare choices.  Patients cite scarce information and limited access to legal guidance as top reasons for failing to execute an advance directive. At Velasco Law Group, we are committed to providing vital estate planning information and legal services to you and your loved ones.  Additionally, given the current stay at home orders and other limitations that may prevent us from meeting you in-person, we are now offering our legal services virtually, either by phone or video conferencing.  Find out how to connect with us HERE

Dignity and Quality of Care

Well-designed communication through an advance directive can help a patient face complex issues in modern medicine and encourage that patient to take charge of his or her care.  Having a properly drafted AHCD can reduce, not only skyrocketing health-care costs but also family disputes and misunderstandings, while also preserving patient dignity and quality of care.  Advance directives can also help to avoid unwanted, futile medical treatment or intervention that can cause great distress and unnecessary suffering for loved ones.

Higher Healthcare Costs

There are numerous negative consequences for patients and our entire healthcare system that result from the failure of millions of Americans to execute an AHCD.  High healthcare costs and family strife and hardship and are among the main concerns. Research suggests that $1.7 billion in annual healthcare expenses could be saved if all competent adults had an advance directive.

Take action now to protect yourself and your loved ones and do it all from the safety of your home.  These are difficult and trying times and now more than ever is a critical time to take action. We are here to help you implement your own AHCD and assist you with all your other estate planning needs.  

Schedule Your Phone or Video Consultation With Our Attorneys Today

What Are The Consequences of NOT Having An Advance Health Care Directive
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What Are The Consequences of NOT Having An Advance Health Care Directive
With COVID-19 Coronavirus, the number of infections and deaths expected in California is simply alarming. Find out how and why you need to get an Advance Health Care Directive now for you and your loved ones. We have created a FREE download to ensure your process this today.
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Velasco Law Group
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