An Advance Directive also known as a living will, is a legal document through which you may provide instructions specifying what actions should be taken for your health in the event that you no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. A living will is one form of advance directive, in which you provide instructions for the type of treatment you wish or don’t wish to have. Should you have a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious, a living will can also tell your physician what if any life support treatment you wish to have. In Connecticut, the Advance Directive also includes the appointment of a health care representative, which allows you to name someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. It is often encouraged that people complete both documents to provide the most comprehensive guidance regarding their care.
Who should fill out an Advance Directive?
Any adult regardless of age can have an Advance Directive. Contrary to what many think, it is not something that is only for older adults. Any individual who wishes to have their wishes followed should they become terminally ill, or incapacitated and not able to personally convey their wishes to their physicians and family members may want to prepare an Advance Directive.
Do I need an attorney in order to complete an Advance Directive?
No, you do not require the services of an attorney. However, an attorney may help you prepare these documents if you choose to consult with one. Otherwise, these forms are available to the public. You may download the state Advance Directive forms, Planning for Future Health Care Decisions.
National Health Care Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. The National Health Care Decisions Day initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and local community organizations to help raise awareness and provide adults regardless of age, with the information and opportunity to communicate their wishes and desires for how they wish to be treated at the end of life.