An Advance Directive Is Best Defined As What? A Simple Guide to This Sensitive Document

Advance Health Care Directive An Advance Directive Is Best Defined As What? A Simple Guide to This Sensitive Document

An Advance Directive Is Best Defined As…? DoNotPay Breaks It Down

If you want to ensure your wishes are honored even when you cannot express them anymore, you should make a specific legal document. An advance directive is best defined as a set of instructions to use in case someone is physically or mentally incapacitated and cannot take care of themselves. DoNotPay can help you create this sensitive document quickly and effortlessly.

What Is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An advance health care directive is a legal document stating your wishes on what treatments you want to receive if you become seriously ill but are unable to make decisions because of an illness or injury. It also appoints an agent to execute your demands.

The two documents contained within an advance medical directive are a:


  1. Living will
  2. Medical power of attorney (medical POA)

Check out the main characteristics of the two in the following table:

Living Will Medical Power of Attorney
  • Contains your wishes about having certain types of care withheld or withdrawn in specific situations
  • Is used mostly for permanent comas or terminal illnesses
  • Doesn’t require you to appoint an agent
  • Covers more conditions and treatments compared to a living will
  • Assigns an individual to make health care decisions in your stead
  • Can be created for children if you want to authorize someone to decide on their behalf when you are away or unable to do so for any other reason

Some states recognize the difference between a living will and a medical POA, but most propose a hybrid document called an advance directive. If viewed as separate agreements in your jurisdiction, you should read our helpful articles to decipher the nuances:

Numerous other names are used for an advance health care directive, including:

  • Medical directive
  • Health care directive
  • Durable power of attorney for health care
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Advance decision
  • Personal directive
  • Health care proxy
  • Advance directive

Who Can You Appoint as Your Advance Directive Agent?

Your agent needs to be a trustworthy person over the age of 18. People usually appoint their spouses, close friends, or relatives, but you can also grant the powers to third parties if you believe they would perform the duties better.

Besides respecting your wishes, the agent must make independent decisions in unexpected circumstances, so the responsibilities are enormous. Keep that in mind when choosing your proxy.

How Can You Create an Advance Health Care Directive?

Several options are available for creating a health care directive, including:

  • Making one yourself
  • Hiring a lawyer to draft it
  • Using DoNotPay to generate the document

Avoid drawing up any legal document yourself if you lack the required knowledge, even with available online forms. Hiring a lawyer for the task is a safer bet, but it comes with a price. The best way to get a top-notch document without spending a fortune is leaving the task to DoNotPay.

How To Draw Up an Advance Health Care Directive With DoNotPay

DoNotPay is at your service for creating an advance health care directive fast and without trouble. We will make sure to include everything this document must contain. You only need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Find the Advance Health Care Directive product
  3. Choose your agent and type in your other medical information
  4. Inform us about the powers you would like to appoint to your agent
  5. Enter the names of the individuals who will witness the signing

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