DRAFTING ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES
By William H. Soskin, Esq.*
The Health Care Decisions Law (the "Act") became effective July 1, 2000.1 The Act appears as Division 4.7 ("Health Care Decisions"), beginning with Probate Code § 4600. Several articles have been written, including two in this publication, which provide a thorough analysis of the Act and commentary on its provisions.2 It is now time, a year later, to look at those statutory provisions with some perspective.
The purpose of this article is to look at options the estate planner has in providing clients with a suitable Advance Health Care Directive under the new law. There are three choices: The draftsperson can utilize the statutory Advance Health Care Directive form set forth in Probate Code § 4701; the attorney can obtain and complete the "Advance Health Care Directive Kit" recently published by the California Medical Association; or, the attorney can craft his or her own document, provided it is signed, dated and acknowledged by a notary public or executed before at least two witnesses in a manner satisfying Probate Code §§ 4674 and 4675.3
I. OVERVIEW OF THE ACT