Advance Health Care Directive

With an Advance Health Care Directive, your personal healthcare choices and your living will are combined into a single comprehensive estate planning document.

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There is more to estate planning than simply deciding who gets which of your possessions and under what circumstances. It's essential also to consider your health care outcomes and the decisions you'll have to make along the way.

For that reason, an Advance Health Care Directive forms an integral part of any thorough estate plan. This document, drafted while you are of sound mind, will give medical staff and those empowered to make decisions on your behalf a guide for handling your health care decisions if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to provide consent to treatment.

What Is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive is a simple legally-binding document indicating your wishes regarding medical care if you can't express those wishes. Additionally, the form authorizes someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if the situation calls for it. Without an Advance Health Directive, medical staff will rely on your closest relatives to make decisions about your care.

In short, an Advance Health Care Directive is a chance to decide on your medical treatment in advance and make a plan about what type of treatment you do and do not consent to in the event of a life-threatening situation. It fulfills a similar need as a living will, and the two terms are used interchangeably in some states.

Other Names for Advance Health Care Directive

Depending on your state, an Advance Health Care Directive may also be known as:

  • Living Will

  • Advance Decision Form

  • Advance Directive

  • Advance Medical Directive

  • Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will

Who Needs an Advance Health Care Directive

One of the most common reasons people choose to make Advance Health Care Directives is responding to a life-threatening illness or medical condition. Anyone with a reason to suspect that they may soon become incapacitated or unable to express their medical care wishes should consider executing an Advance Health Care Directive as a matter of course.

Furthermore, it's a good idea to draft an Advance Health Care Directive whether or not you have any reason to suspect you'll soon need it. A part of responsible estate planning is preparing for situations ahead of time. Having an overall plan early on can make it easier to implement small changes rather than having to draft the entire document in a state of agitation at the news of a diagnosis.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for Your Advance Health Care Directive

Customized for you, by you

Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Advance Health Care Directive.

Specific to Your Jurisdiction

Laws vary by location. Each document on 360 Legal Forms is customized for your state.

Fast and easy

All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create an Advance Healthcare Directive with 360 Legal Forms

An Advance Health Care Directive is a straightforward document, but it needs to comply with specific regulatory standards legally enforceable. With our proprietary form generator, a few necessary details about yourself and your medical care wishes are enough to generate a document that fits your jurisdiction regulations.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create an Advance Health Care Directive

To create your document, please provide:

  • Governing State: The state where the Advance Health Care Directive will be executed.

  • Personal Information: Your full name and address.

  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: Select if you have previously granted someone medical power of attorney. If not, you'll be asked if you want to designate a health care agent in this form.

  • Health Care Agent: The full name and address and contact information for the person appointed to be your health care agent as well as alternate health care agents, if any.

  • Extent of Decision-Making Authority: Specify any limitations you wish to place on your health care agents' decision-making authority.

  • Living Will: Choose under what circumstances you want to receive life-sustaining treatment or whether you want the decision to rest with your authorized agent.

  • Additional Directives: Describe any additional directives you wish to add, such as do-not-resuscitate orders or other people with whom treatment must be discussed.

  • Original Version and Copies: Where the original copy of the Advance Health Care Directive will be kept and any copies' location.

  • Date: The effective date of the document and County where it is executed.

Advance Health Care Directive Terms

  • Terminal Condition: An illness likely to cause death or permanent unconsciousness and recovery would be rare.

  • HIPAA Waiver: A section of the Advance Health Care Directive allowing health care providers to release your medical history to your agent.

  • Conservator: A person put in charge of your finances while you are incapacitated.

  • Principal: The person for whom the document is drafted (i.e., whose wishes are described in the directive).

  • Of Sound Mind: Being in a capacity to think and reason as you would under normal circumstances.

Advance Health Care Directive Signing Requirements

To be legally enforceable, an Advance Health Care Directive must be signed by the principal and all the agents appointed within. It needs to be signed in the presence of two unbiased witnesses whose signatures should also be on the document, or else a notary public must notarize the signatures.

What to Do with Your Advance Health Care Directive

Once you've reviewed and executed the Advance Health Care Directive, keep the original for your records. Additionally, distribute a copy to each of your designated agents. It will remain in force until revoked in writing, or the original is destroyed.

The Advance Health Care Directive document does not need to be filed with any state or federal authority or records office.

Frequently Asked Questions

The living will, or Advanced Healthcare Directive, allows you to express your wishes about health care decisions in writing should you become incapacitated. The last will allocates ownership of your property after you’ve passed.

In principle, no. Your Advance Healthcare Directive is a personal document and applies while you are still. The assistance of a lawyer is not required to draft or execute an Advance Healthcare Directive but retaining an attorney for this purpose is common in the United States.

As long as your wishes align with currently accepted medical practices, healthcare providers have to follow them even if they are to disagree. If a healthcare provider refuses or is unable to follow your wishes, he or she typically must refer you to a provider who is willing and able to do so.

You can, within reason and subject to the laws of your state, choose anyone in your trust. However, It’s useful to follow some basic rules of thumb, such as choosing someone over 18 years of age. You’re also well-advised to not choose a healthcare provider who will be treating you or employees of healthcare facilities where you might receive care. Lastly, make sure you choose a healthcare representative who will be available and ready to act on your wishes when required.

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Applicable to all 50 states
Applicable to all 50 states

Our documents are vetted by lawyers and are applicable to all 50 states.