A California Living Will is a document often referred to as an Advance Health Care Directive Form. Acting as a combination between a power of attorney form and a living will document, a California Living Will allows a person to declare their wishes regarding any treatment or medical procedure that they may subject to if they ever fall into an incapacitated state, and appoint an individual who will ensure these wishes are carried out. The state of California allows a living will to cover any medical treatment, procedure, or intervention that serves to extend or delay the dying process. California law does, however, not allow a living will or power of attorney document to dictate a doctor's decisions in alleviating pain or providing comfort care. Probate Code Section 4600 prescribes any person who creates a document like this must be of sound mind, must be a legal adult and that the document must be witnessed by at least two (2) people. Furthermore, these laws require a California Living Will to be substantially similar to the form described in Probate Code Section 4701. The law also describes that this document will only become operative when the Declarant is in a terminal condition, which will need to be certified in writing by two (2) physicians. Lastly, a living will is ineffective while a Declarant is pregnant and can be revoked at any time by the Declarant regardless of his or her mental state.
The first step to completing a California Living Will is to provide the information of the Declarant. This will consist of his or her full name, address, gender, and telephone number. The next portion of the document will cover your Advocate. This is the individual who will voice your wishes according to the specifications of this document. You will appoint this individual by providing their first and last name, telephone number, and their address. If you wish to appoint an alternate advocate and/or attach a healthcare power of attorney, you may do so in this step. The next section of this document will cover life-sustaining care that you may or may not consent to. Here, you can specifically name what treatments and procedures you do and do not want to be subject to should you ever fall into an incapacitated or terminally ill state. Once these steps have been taken, and all of your wishes have been provided, along with any doctor and anatomical donation information that you wish to provide, you may sign the document. According to Arizona law, all living will documents, in addition to the Declarant, must be signed by at least one (1) witness, or a notary public.