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At Lifespark, we’re passionate about keeping you in control of your life as long as possible. One of the ways we do that is by encouraging our clients to create an Advance Directive. By documenting your medical and end-of-life wishes and sharing them with your loved ones and healthcare providers, you’re taking control of life’s most important decisions — and giving your family the gift of knowing what you want. 

Lifespark created an Advance Directive eBook to help you and your loved ones talk about and put into writing these important life decisions. 

Lifesprk Advance Directive circle

What is an Advance Directive?

An Advance Directive is a legal document that informs your doctors and your family members about your wishes in the event you can’t speak for yourself. The document includes a written description of your wishes, such as the type of medical care you want or want to avoid, instructions for burial or cremation, and the name of your medical power of attorney, or healthcare proxy.



Who Should Have an Advance Directive?

Contrary to popular belief, Advance Directives are not just for older adults; they’re for everyone 18 years of age or older. Why? Because anyone can have a medical emergency at any time, independent of age or health status. 



Where Should I Keep Advance Directive?

Your Advance Directive should be as accessible as possible, not locked in a safe deposit box. Give copies to your healthcare proxy (and secondary agent, if you have one), your primary care doctor, and if you choose, family members, faith leader, and trusted friends.



Starting the Conversation About Advance Directives

If your loved ones tend to avoid talking about death and dying, consider using an icebreaker to ease into the conversation. Examples include the recent death of a friend, a television show that addressed this issue, a sermon or homily you heard, and news stories about COVID-19. 



Myths About Advance Directives

Misconceptions about Advance Directives can complicate the process of completing and sharing this document. Common myths include:

  • If I have a POLST, I don’t need an Advance Directive
  • A power of attorney is the same as a medical power of attorney
  • A lawyer has to sign off on my Advance Directive

A Step-by-Step Guide to Completing Your Advance Directive

Wherever you are in your life journey, there’s no time like the present to begin planning for the future.
To get started, download our step-by-step guide to completing your Advance Directive.