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advance directives forms

When planning for your future medical care, prepare your advance directives to be sure your loved ones make health choices according to your wishes. Just select your state from the drop-down menu below and download the free advance directive forms for you to use. You’ll find instructions on how to fill out the forms.

Woman sitting at desk contemplating advanced directives forms

Advance directives can help family members understand your medical wants. — Getty Images

Every adult should have an advance directive in which you explain the type of health care you do or do not want when you can’t make your own decisions. You should also appoint someone who can speak for you to make sure your wishes are carried out.

 

States have specific forms for these documents so health care professionals can easily recognize the document’s purpose. To make things a little confusing, states use various terms to describe their advance directive forms.

 

See also: How much will long-term care cost?

 

Advance directive is the general term that refers to the various documents that could include a living will, instruction directive, health care proxy or health care power of attorney.

 

  • A living will (or instruction directive) alerts medical professionals and your family to the treatments you want to receive or refuse. In most states this document only goes into effect if you meet specific medical criteria and are unable to make decisions.

 

  • In a health care power of attorney (or health care proxy) you select the family member or trusted friend you want to make health care decisions for you when you cannot. In this document you should give directions to the person you select as your spokesperson (or health care agent or proxy) about the full range of care you want. It is very important that you talk with this person about your health care wishes.

 

Some states combine the two forms so you can record your treatment preferences and name your health care advocate in one document. When you download your state’s form you’ll find what you need.

 

You may also like: Are you ready for the future?

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Elinor Ginzler discusses caregiving and advance directives.

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