An advance directive is an important set of documents that outline end-of-life priorities. It includes:
- living will (“what I want”)
- medical durable power of attorney (“who will speak for me”)
A lawyer is not required to fill out an advance directive. In most states, one simply needs to sign in front of the required witnesses.
Everyone over 18 should have an advance directive. It provides peace of mind by explaining what healthcare people would prefer if they become severely injured or terminally ill. Keep your advance directive in an easily accessible place, and let loved ones know where it is. Sharing preferences before a medical crisis will help ensure you to get the care you want.
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Already completed an advance directive? Good! Make it a habit to review these materials periodically to ensure the forms are current and that they still reflect your preferences.
Consider these other forms to supplement your advance directive.
Dementia Provision a C&C exclusive, adds language to an advance directive advising physicians and family of your wishes should you be unable to direct your care due to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Sectarian Healthcare Directive is an addendum to clarify that your wishes supersede those of any institution’s religious policies, and that you wish to be transferred if any facility refuses to follow the preferences you’ve outlined in your advance directive.
Hospital Visitation Form gives unmarried couples hospital visitation authorization.
Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Rider is a contract rider for people who live in assisted-living facilities and would like to stay there until they die. This will ensure an individual’s home is suited to their choices.
Palliative Sedation is the process of being medicated to reduce consciousness. At the same time, nutrition and fluids are withheld. Sedation may bring some relief for extreme pain and suffering. However, it may not totally relieve symptoms.