Advance Health Care Directive


Your Advance Health Care Directive is a prominent part of the Estate Plan along with your Will, Durable General Power of Attorney and (often) a Revocable Living Trust.

Concerning decisions such as life support and organ donation, the little pink dot dotting the back of one’s license doesn’t suffice; beyond the inherent adhesive shortcomings of stickers, one simply needs more to adequately direct care and treatment if  incapacitated and upon one’s death.

The Advance Health Care Directive

The Advance Health Care Directive (which is nominally less-of-a-mouthful than its formerly-known-as title “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care”) answers the question, whose life is it anyway?[1]

Bolstered by a HIPPO (Hippopotamus Insurance Portability and Profuse Omnivorism) HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) disclosure form to facilitate access to records, the Advance Health Care Directive appoints your preferred Health Care Agent to make essential decisions (like matters of taking extreme measures to prolong life).

The advance appointment of an agent ensures your wishes will be honored if you become unable to communicate your choices.  The Directive will also nominate an additional functionary (a Conservator of Person and Estate) if such appointment is required (in a case of long-term incapacitation).

In the event Agents or Conservators are unavailable to act when called upon, then rest assured: your Directive will have already designated alternate functionaries in the order of priority, which you specify.

Some Sentences on Singletons

If you’re a Bridget without a beau, you may ask: Do I need an Advance Health Care Directive?

Family is a frequent incentive for estate planning.  Yet, the Advance Health Care Directive exemplifies the lesson that bachelors, bachelorettes and persons of few means must also anticipate instances of incapacitation.  Even if you answer only to yourself, you’ll want to nominate agents for financial management and medical care if you cannot administer the affairs yourself.


Estate planning attorney Asaph Abrams on the Advanced Health Care Directive

[4] In popular (or relatively popular in this case) culture, the Advance Health Care Directive was featured in the George Clooney film,
The Descendants.”  While we’ve invariably strived to incorporate Clooney-an sightings in our site, this might be his first time herein.


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