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Is My Advanced Healthcare Directive Valid Outside of California?

Many senior citizens in California who travel during their retirement years worry about whether their estate planning documents will be accepted when they go outside of the state, particularly the Advanced Healthcare Directive.

The good news is that an Advanced Healthcare Directive drafted in California is typically considered valid and will be recognized in other states throughout the country. However, it’s still a good idea to examine the differences of the laws concerning Advanced Healthcare Directives and medical decisions if you plan on spending time outside of California.

First, rest assured that your health care wishes regarding end-of-life care, resuscitation, and extraordinary means of prolonging your life will be honored from state to state. However, you should still consider taking precautions to ensure there is no delay or confusion if you become incapacitated while traveling for an extended period of time.

If you plan on spending a month or more outside of California, you should speak with an experienced estate and elder law attorney about Advanced Healthcare Directive laws in the states where you’ll be traveling. If your attorney determines that there are certain differences between California’s health care laws and the laws of the states where you’re traveling, he or she will make sure that the signature and notary on your Advanced Healthcare Directive comply with the requirements for each state, so you may have a valid, signed document with you wherever you may travel.

An experienced estate and elder law attorney will probably not advise that you create separate Advanced Healthcare Directive documents for each state you plan on staying in for an extended period. By having multiple Advanced Healthcare Directives, you may risk invalidating the documents and add extra confusion to an already stressful situation.

If you’d like more information about the effectiveness of your Advanced Healthcare Directive while you travel throughout the country during retirement, or if you’d like to have your existing estate plan reviewed to make sure it matches your current situation, please set up an appointment at our Los Angeles County estate and elder law planning office by calling (818) 905-6088.