Advanced Directives and Living Wills

A Living Will is the popular name for a document spelling out the general kinds of medical care you would want – or not want – in the event you become unable to communicate with your health care providers.  Other names for a Living Will are a “medical directive” or “medical declaration.” A Living Will does NOT impact who gets your property or who is your Personal Representative or Guardian of your minor children – those items are included in your regular Will.

An Advance Health Care Directive is a written set of instructions expressing your wishes for medical treatment.  It may contain a health care power of attorney, where you name a person called a “health care agent” or “proxy” to decide treatment for you, and a Living Will, where you tell your health care agent and health care providers your choices regarding the initiation, continuation, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and other specific directions.


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