Healthcare Advance Directive or Living Will


The healthcare directive (or living will) makes your wishes known regarding the end of your life.  It clarifies the types, if any, of medical or mental health procedures you want.  By creating a healthcare directive, you are relieving your family and friends from the burden of guessing about your wishes.

If you’re interested in a healthcare directive, do these two things:

  1. Discuss your plans with your family to eliminate any surprises. In the case of an accident or sudden critical illness, a well-written directive can speak for you and communicate your wishes to your family members.
  2. Talk to an Alaska estate planning attorney like me, Constance A. Aschenbrenner, to make sure you understand all aspects of the directive. An attorney specializing in advance directives and Alaska estate planning law can make sure your wishes are properly communicated and legally recorded.

Directives are an important part of your healthcare plan. Make sure you make copies and share them with your doctors and care providers.

Here are some important things to remember about Alaska Healthcare Directives:

  • Advance directives are regulated differently in every state. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced attorney prepare your advance directive in the state where you reside.
  • If you live in more than one state – say, Alaska in the summer and Florida in winter – you will need to have directives on file in each state you live in.
  • You can change your mind about any provision covered in your advance directive, at any time. No need to worry about making a choice you’ll regret later. Your advanced directive can be modified and updated as your life changes. Make sure your healthcare providers receive updated versions of your plan.

Unexpected medical situations cannot be predicted. In the event of a crisis, an advance directive is a guide for your loved ones and your doctors, giving everyone clarity about your instructions and confidence in the path forward.


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"The Alaska Wills and Trusts Guidebook"

by Connie Aschenbrenner


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