No lawyer is needed if you want to write your Advanced Healthcare Directive, but can be a helpful resource.
Advance healthcare directives are not difficult to complete, but they require a few steps to do well.
- Obtain an “official” or general accepted form for your state. AHD In Your State Part 1 and Part 2.
- Try to obtain at least one or two additional advance directive forms from other sources
This helps you see the variations in topics different advance directives cover and the alternative instructions they provide.
- Discuss the contents of the forms with your close family
- Discuss the contents of the forms with your physician
- Discuss the contents of the forms with the person you may name as proxy.
These discussions may be difficult to initiate, but they are extremely important.
- Gather information about your current medical condition and its implications for future medical problems
- Clarify your own values and wishes
- Ask your physician, close family, and proxy if they are willing to support you in the way you want.
- Complete the form you choose, being sure to add or modify language to reflect your wishes more accurately.
- Follow the witnessing instructions for your state exactly. Most, but not all states, require two completely disinterested witnesses.
TIP: If you have a potential family conflict, special legal concern, or unusual request, additional legal drafting help may be needed. These circumstances call for consultation with a lawyer experienced in personal planning.