Talk openly with your loved ones while you’re still well and use advance directives to maintain control.
How Much Do You Know About Advance Directives?
How important is it to draw up a living will? Take this quiz and find out.
1. The two most common forms of advance directives are the living will and durable power of attorney.
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A regular will is a document that states how you want your estate handled after your death, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). It takes effect after you die. A living will is a document that states what kind of medical care you want (feeding tubes or artificial breathing, for example) if you are too ill to make that decision. It does not become effective unless you are terminally ill, with no chance of recovery, and it does not allow you to name someone to make medical decisions for you. A durable power of attorney is another kind of advance directive, in which you name a person who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. A third kind of advance directive is a do not resuscitate order, which means you do not want medical staff to try to revive you if your heart stops beating or if you stop breathing.