4. COMPLETE: Do It Today

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is a document that an individual completes in advance that indicates the kind of care they would want if they were to be in an accident or become seriously ill. In addition, an advance directive allows an individual to name an agent or surrogate that can make healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event that they can’t speak for yourself.

Preparing Your advance directive

  • Think about your values and goals for care if you were to become seriously ill.
  • Talk to your loved ones and care providers about these values and goals.
  • Choose an agent to speak for you if you were unable to speak for yourself.
  • Complete an advance directive by downloading a form, making your selections and signing the form in front of two witnesses or a notary public.
  • Give a copy of your completed advance directive to your agent, family members, care providers and hospital. Remember, copies of your advance directive are just as valid as the original.

Storing Your Advance Directive

It’s best to keep your advance directive in a safe and convenient place We do not recommend that you keep your advance directive in a safety deposit box. This document needs to be easily accessible.

Additional Resources