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Understanding Advance Health Care Directives: Make Your Medical Wishes Known

Advance Health Care Directive Form
Advance Health Care Directive Form

The first document we'll tackle from the Ultimate Guide To The Top 35 Most Commonly Notarized Documents is the Advance Health Care Directive, also known as a medical power of attorney. This is a legal document that allows a person to express their healthcare preferences and make decisions about medical treatment in the event that they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves due to illness, incapacity, or other circumstances.

This document enables someone to specify their healthcare wishes and appoint an agent who will make medical decisions on their behalf according to their stated desires. The healthcare agent is usually a trusted family member, friend, or other individual chosen by the person creating the directive.

Key components of an advance health care directive typically include:

  1. Medical Treatment Preferences: Individuals state their wishes regarding specific medical procedures, treatments, or interventions such as resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration, pain management and organ donation.

2. End-of Life Decisions: Persons address their end-of-life care choices, including

whether they want to receive life-prolonging treatments or prefer to focus on

palliative care and comfort measures.

3. Health Care Agent Appointment: Individuals designate a trusted person as a

healthcare agent who will make medical decisions on their behalf, ensuring their

wishes are respected.

4. Other Preferences: Additional instructions or wishes related to their medical care,

religious beliefs, and values may be included.

Creating an Advance Health Care Directive is an important part of health care and estate planning. This document allows a person to have a say in their medical treatment and reduces the burden of decision making on loved ones during challenging times. To make certain that everyone is aware of the individual's wishes, most people discuss the contents of the directive with family members, the designated healthcare agent, and healthcare providers.

Over the course of my mobile notary public career, I've notarized hundreds of Advance Health Care Directives for clients who may be working with an attorney, medical facility or online legal website. Advance Health Care Directives vary depending on local laws and regulations. A legal professional should be consulted to ensure that it complies with all requirements of the person's state or country.


Kimberly D. McKendell, the owner of Notary Long Beach-Mobile Notary & Apostille, is a mobile notary public based in Long Beach who has completed thousands of notarizations since 2001. Call her for all of your notary needs. She specializes in apostilles and authentications, real estate documents, living trusts, medical records, estate planning documents, title transfers, patent forms, international adoptions, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and power of attorney documents.

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