Understanding California Advance Health Care Form
California’s Advance Health Care Form comes in five parts. Each of the first four parts is optional, depending on what kind of health care planning you wish to do. The fifth part, which must be completed, contains the signature and witnessing provisions to make your executed form legally effective.
Part 1: Power of Attorney for Health Care
The first part of the form contains a power of attorney for health care. This allows you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. Unless you state otherwise elsewhere in the form, any power of attorney for health care will go into effect when your primary care physician determines that:
- You lack the mental capacity or physical capability to understand the nature and consequences of your health care decisions; and/or
- You lack the ability to communicate your health care decisions.
You may also choose to let your agent make health care decisions on your behalf even when you have the capability to do so for yourself.
Part 2: Instructions for Health Care
The second part of the form allows you to set forth instructions for your health care. This part of the form is commonly called a “living will.” You can state your wishes for your health care in the event you can no longer speak for yourself. You can also specify the conditions under which your individual instructions will take effect.
Part 3: Organ Donation
The third part of the form allows you to opt-in or otherwise express your preference to donate an organ, another body part and/or cadaver donation.
Part 4: Primary Physician
The fourth part allows you to designate a physician who will have primary responsibility for your health care.