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A Health Care Directive is a legal document that gives another person the authority to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so for yourself. It is important to have a Health Care Directive so that your wishes will be known even if you are unable to communicate.

A Health Care Directive gives you the opportunity to identify the person(s) whom you trust to make very personal decisions for you. A Health Care Directive allows you to set forth your thoughts, guidance, and direction about the type of care you would want to receive in various situations. You may be as specific and detailed as you wish in describing the treatment, and procedures you wish to receive. 

There are various versions of the Health Care Directive, and it is a matter of personal choice as to which one to use. There are several specific elements that must be included in any form. There are also certain requirements for the signing of Health Care Directives. They must either be notarized or witnessed by two people who are not named in the Directive. 

In the past, Minnesota required both a Medical Power of Attorney and a Living Will to accomplish what the Health Care Directive now does.

Need to talk with a lawyer about healthcare directives? Contact estate planning attorney, Amy Kuronen.