What is an Advanced Directive?

Posted by ANGELA RICH HARTMANN | Dec 29, 2020

An Advance Directive, sometimes called a Healthcare Directive or Advance Healthcare Directive, is a document that is created to ensure your preferences as to medical treatment are followed if you are unable to make your own decisions.  It goes into effect if your physician determines you are unable to understand your diagnosis and treatment options or the possible harms and benefits of same.  New Jersey has two directives: a proxy directive and an instructional directive.  

The Proxy Directive, sometimes called a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, or Medical Power of Attorney, is a document created to appoint a person as your healthcare representative.  This representative is asked to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make them for yourself.  This can be because of a temporary or permanent medical condition. Your healthcare representative will make decisions in your best interest, and if your instructions are known, in accordance with those instructions.   

The Instruction Directive, or Living Will, is a document created to have your end-of-life instructions honored.  It is drafted to identify under what circumstances you would or would not want to have life-sustaining treatment in the event that you are unable to make those decisions on your own behalf, for example, because you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious with no medical options to extend a quality of life.  General care, extraordinary care, palliative care, and specific circumstances are considered, as well as decisions relating to anatomical gifts after death.

Contact Hartmann Law

Whether there is a life event that brings you to this page, or you have simply decided it is time, Hartmann Law is here to help. Each individual, couple, and family is different, and we offer dedicated and individualized attention to every Client. An Estate Plan will be discussed, created and tailored to your needs. Contact Hartmann Law today, so we can determine how to best achieve your desired result.

About the Author


Angela Rich Hartmann is a New Jersey attorney serving clients in the areas of estate, business, and real estate law.