An advance directive or advance health care directive is a legal document that is drawn up for the purpose of recording an individual’s preferences for his end-of-life treatment in the event that he becomes mentally incapable of expressing his own wishes. This is a good way to prepare for certain medical circumstances.

Let’s say that someone gets in a coma after a terrible car accident and becomes terribly ill. Who will decide the length of time he will stay on life support if it takes him quite a long time to gain consciousness? Will he want to exhaust his finances if that ever happens? It would be hard to answer these questions without an Advance Health Care Directive Form to guide you. This is why we have provided an array of advance health care directive forms at your disposal, because literally anyone can benefit from drafting one.

Advance Health Care Directive Blank Form

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Advance Directive Form in Word

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What Is the Difference Between an Advance Directive and a Living Will?

We already know that an advance directive is used to record a person’s preferences for end-of-life treatment if he becomes mentally incapable. A living will, on the other hand, is not much different as it is a type of advance directive. There are essentially two kinds of advance directive: a Living Will Form, and a Health Care or Medical Power of Attorney Form. Both forms are used for the same purpose, but there are some key differences.

Free Living Will Form

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Living Will Form Example

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Living Will Versus Health Care Power of Attorney

Living Will Form – This is a type of advance directive wherein a person can record his preferences for his end-of-life treatment during his mental incapacity. To further understand the function of a living will, one would need to know what key information are to be included in one, which are the following:

  • Resuscitation: The method for resuscitation you want when your heart stops beating may be indicated.
  • Life Support: You can indicate if, when, and for how long you would want life support if you are in a coma or if your one of your organs fails. Life support machines and equipment include mechanical ventilators, feeding tubes, and dialysis machines.
  • Comfort Medication: These are medicines administered to manage pain and other uncomfortable symptoms a patient may have as a result of his illness, especially when there is little to no hope of recovery.
  • Medical Expenses: You can state as to what extent you would want your savings to be spent to pay for your medical expenses.
  • Organ or Tissue Donation: This involves the specification of organ or tissue donation at the time of your passing. You can also specify if you want your body to be donated to a medical facility for research purposes.

Health Care Power of Attorney Form Sample

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Health Care Power of Attorney – This other type of advance directive is used to assign someone to make decisions about the course of your medical treatment for you when you are unable to express them yourself. A Health Care Power of Attorney is also one of the many kinds of Power of Attorney Forms that exist today. Let’s look at the essential elements of a Health Care Power of Attorney to better understand its function.

  • Principal: This is the individual drafting the Health Care Power of Attorney.
  • Agent or Attorney In Fact: This is the individual being appointed by the principal to make decisions for his medical treatment during his mental incapacity. It is best for a principal to choose his agents wisely and speak to them ahead of time about his intent to appoint them as agents. It is also advisable to have more than one agent, in case the primary agent would be unwilling or unable to perform his duties.
  • Extent of Authority of Agent: If there are any limitations as to what the agent can make decisions for, it has to be stated on the form as well.

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