4. COMPLETE: Do It Today

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is a document you fill out naming someone you know and trust to speak for you in the event you’re unable. An advance directive also allows you to indicate the level and types of treatments you would want if you were in an accident or became seriously ill.

All of us could face serious illness or injury at any age. That’s why the Institute for Human Caring believes everyone 18 and older should have an advance directive.

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