An Advance Directive For Health Care is a legal document that explains how you want medical decisions to be made if you cannot make the decisions yourself. In many states they are called a living will. An advance directive for health care lets health care professionals and your loved ones know what kind of health care you want, or who you want to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. These medical decisions may include special actions or emergency care.
Advance directives only apply to health care decisions and do not affect financial or legal matters. The laws around advance directives are different from state to state. Talk to your health care provider about filling out your advance directive when you are still healthy, in case you later become too ill or are unable to make medical decisions for yourself.