While you’re reviewing your 2019 plan documents, you may also want to take a moment to think about your advance directive.

  • If you have one, an annual review of your wishes and goals could be helpful to make sure your goals haven’t changed. It’s natural that this may happen as you go through health or life changes.
  • If you don’t have one, think about preparing an advance directive. Start by talking to your doctor for guidance.

Key Terms to Know

Advance directive – how you express your wishes for medical care. It is written instructions to make sure your decisions, including your right to refuse treatment, are understood and followed by your doctors and family. There are two main types: a health care power of attorney and a living will. You can change your instructions at any time.

Health care (or medical) power of attorney – use this to name someone to make medical decisions for you. The person you name is sometimes called your health care proxy or agent.

Living will – also called a declaration, this is used to state the medical care you would or would not like to have if you become physically or mentally unable to communicate.