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What is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a set of instructions that are given by an individual with decisions regarding their health if they become incapable of making medical decisions for themselves. The individual may have to appoint another person to make these decisions. An advance directive may also be called an advance health care directive, living will, personal directive or advance decision.

How would an advance directive affect an individual’s last will and testament?

An advance directive may not affect this. It would be relevant only in health care decisions and would end at the death of the individual.

Would an advance directive that was drawn up to appoint a healthcare agent and decide about treatment preference be equivalent to a medical power of attorney?

This could be considered to be equivalent to a medical power of attorney and a living will. It may be enough to appoint someone to make medical decisions.

Can an individual with an advance directive from a friend write a will for him/her?

The individual has to make the will themselves.

Is it required to notarize an advanced health care directive in Delaware?

It is not necessary to have it notarized in the state of Delaware.

Can an individual request for medical treatment if they have already signed an advance directive refusing it?

This is possible because the directive is valid only if the individual is incapable of making medical decisions for them.

What is the difference between a will and an advance health care directive?

A will is a legal document in which the creator names one or more people to manage their property and estate and gives instructions on how to transfer it on their death. An advance health care directive ,on the other hand, refers to instructions given by an individual on the kind of medical decisions that should be taken if they are incapable of making them.

Where to obtain forms for an advance directive?

Forms to file an advance directive may be found on the following website: http://www.wsma.org/files/Downloads/PatientResources/HCD-forms.pdf

Who should be informed when an individual signs an advance directive?

An individual may have to inform their physician, the person who is named as the health care representative in the directive, family members, close friends, lawyers or anyone who may inform the concerned people that they have signed an advance health care directive.

Medical decisions are important to one’s life. It is necessary that you make sure you appoint someone to make these decisions in the event you become ill and are incapable of making them yourself. Advance directives are legal documents and therefore may are not always easy to understand. You may seek the help of an Expert if you have any doubts or need more information on advance directives.

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