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- Glossary Term -

Advance Directive

Legal documents that allow you to plan and make your own end-of-life wishes about health care and treatment known in the event that you are unable to communicate. Advance directives consist of (1) a living will and (2) a medical (health care) power of attorney, sometimes called “health care surrogate,” depending on the state. (See Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney). You can create a living will and medical power of attorney form without a lawyer. However, it is very important that you use advance directive forms specifically created for your state so that they are legal. Caring Connections ( provides free advance directives and instructions for each state.

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