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Protecting Estates.
Protecting Legacies.

When should you change or review your advance directive?

As part of estate planning, you created an advance medical directive so your loved ones know your desires regarding health care if you cannot make or voice your desires. Do you expect to change this legal document?

Mayo Clinic describes circumstances that may necessitate an advance directive change or review. Ensure your medical directive always reflects your most current health care desires.

Shifting situation

Certain life events require that you look over your current directive to determine whether it fits your needs. For instance, if you marry, have a child or end a marriage, you may want to choose a different person to act as your health care agent. If you learn you have a terminal disease or illness or health condition that shifts your life monumentally, you may feel your directive’s current medical decisions do not serve your new health care goals or desires. Every 10 years, look over your medical directive to see if your aspirations and values remain in line with the legal document’s contents.

Making changes

What if you change your mind about your directive? You must draft a new document, ensure the proper parties receive the updated version and destroy the old directive according to California’s latest regulations.

Discussing changes

Ensure you let your health care agent, primary physician and loved ones know about changes to your medical directive. You should distribute a copy of your new form to your doctor so it replaces the old one in your medical file or chart.

As with most aspects of estate planning, you cannot take a set-it-and-forget-it approach with your advance directive. Take care of your future self by taking action today.