Health Care Directives

With a valid health care directive, previously called a “living will” or “health care power of attorney,” you can appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make your own decisions. It is common to appoint a spouse, child, other family member, or close friend to act as a health care agent. Ultimately, your health care agent should be someone you trust with medical decision-making.

Your health care agent must follow any specific instructions you include in your health care directive. Your instructions may address mental health treatment, organ donation, experimental treatment, terminal condition, and funeral arrangements, among other topics.

While some clinics and hospitals provide generic forms for you to complete, these forms may not adequately address certain medical decisions or provide your agent with the ability to review your medical records. A proper and thorough health care directive ensures that your family will have access to medical records, the ability to speak with your doctors, and clear direction regarding your wishes. Please speak with one of our estate planning attorneys to make sure your health care directive meets your needs.

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