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Why is an advance health care directive so important?

Living will. Medical directive. Durable health care power of attorney.

The terminology can mix and merge in a way that understandably confuses many individuals and families focusing on key estate planning concepts and imperatives.

And it is immediately coupled with subject matter that makes many people uncomfortable.

Namely, that is incapacitation and death. End-of-life considerations are not top-tier entrants for most families’ “gather around the table” discussions.

And yet they most certainly do need addressing, optimally in a proactive and timely way.

We readily spotlight what is commonly termed in California as an advance health care directive on our website at the long-established Bay Area estate planning Law Offices of Connie Yi. We note therein that paying due attention to the appointment of an agent -- often “a trusted friend or family member” -- to oversee matters relevant to end-of-life care can greatly empower an individual preparing for future realities.

Essentially, it’s about control, a point we centrally underscore for readers thinking about the future and strategies to responsibly address it.

That “control” aspect is echoed in a recent and informative Forbes piece discussing end-of-life estate planning. The article spotlights the obvious importance of that subject for many Americans, as evidenced by laws in every state that provide for living wills. Notably, California took the lead on that more than 40 years ago, when it became in 1976 the first state permitting advance health care directives.

Candidly, there is no down side in thinking about and crafting a strategy for dealing with end-of-life issues. Indeed, and as Forbes notes, implementing a sound plan well ahead of time can help a planner “rest easy having gotten this part of your life in order.”

Proven estate planning legal counsel can provide further information.

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