Advance Directive Cheat Sheet: Five Tips To Get You Started

This article on Advance Directives is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

Create a Living Will and Health Care Proxy in five steps.

Most of the work is already done. All you have to do check out these five tips and get to it.

Step 1: Get The Documents

Obtain your state's Living Will or Advance Health Directive form from our State-by-State Advance Health Care Directive Guide.

Step 2: Treatment Time

Indicate on the form whether you would like to receive life support treatments at the end of life or whether you would not like to receive life-support treatments at the end of life. You must be of sound mind when you do this or else it won’t be legit.

Step 3: Proxy Up

Part of an Advance Directive is naming a Health Care Proxy (a.k.a. Health Care Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Health Care Agent). In short, this is the person who dictates your health decisions when you can’t, including what happens to the plug if it comes to that.

Step 4: Can I Get A Witness?

Once completed, you need to have a witness countersign the document to make it legally binding. The witness can be anyone over the age of 18, but cannot be your Health Care Proxy. [Note: Some states might require the document to be notarized. We have all the info in our Advance Directive Guide.]

Step 5: Let People Know About It

Pin it to your fridge, carry it in your bag -- better yet, add it to your Everplan and share it with your Deputies. (Hint, hint…)

BONUS Step: High Five

You’re done! Take a break and relax. You earned it. (We’d like to thank Anchorman for providing the perfect amount of joviality to celebrate this important moment in your life.)

Deep Dive: All You Need To Know About Advance Directives

State-By-State Health, Legal, And End-Of-Life Resources

Advance Directives

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