Advance Healthcare Directive

Advance Healthcare Directive

Medical Power of Attorney

The companion to the financial power of attorney is the medical power of attorney, sometimes known by different names including advance health care directive, medical durable power of attorney, or health care proxy, which permits the appointed agent to make health care, end-of-life, and postmortem decisions on behalf of the principal when the principal is unable to do so on their own.

Living Will

A living will sometimes referred to as an advance directive, is a document in which an individual outlines their specific wishes regarding their end-of-life care. When an individual is no longer able to speak for themselves because of a terminal illness or persistent vegetative condition, a living will helps the health care agent or doctor make decisions such as the following per the individual’s wishes:

  • Whether certain medications should be administered
  • Whether pain management is desired
  • Under what conditions, if any, artificial hydration and nutrition should be discontinued, or artificial life support should be removed
  • Whether the individual wishes to be an organ donor
  • Determines funeral directives


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides for the confidential handling of protected health information (PHI) and requires that patients consent to health care providers sharing their PHI. For an individual’s loved ones to receive the individual’s medical information, and for the trustees, executors, financial agents, and health care agents to properly execute their duties, you must ensure that the individual has executed a HIPAA release providing the names of those who are entitled to receive PHI.

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