Like living wills, a medical or advance directive is where legal instructions and preferences for medical care are recorded. Written directives are made to guide the choices of caregivers and medical professionals in the event that you become seriously injured, terminally ill, or fall into a coma.

Why do I need one?

If something were to happen to you today and you couldn’t communicate your medical wishes, are you confident that your healthcare provider and family would know what you want?

Without a power of attorney in place to make medical decisions for you and no record of a medical directive, the health care provider would have to guess what you would want. Having a medical directive on file means that your wishes are taken into consideration, even if you’re unable to communicate them at the time.

Can I write my own Medical Directive?

Many states have existing forms for medical directives that you can fill out. However, these can be complicated and you want to be sure such an important document is completed correctly. Check your state’s laws and regulations regarding advance directives to find out what you need to complete yours. You can also speak to a legal professional for further guidance.