Living Will / Advanced Directive Comparison Chart

Living Will / Advanced Directive Comparison Chart

Living Will

Advance Directive

for Health Care

Who helps prepare it?

Attorney

Hospital, doctor, advance care planning professional.

Cost?

Yes.

No. The Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care forms are free and available on the As You Wish website at http://asyouwishvirginia.org.  Other advance directive documents are available at area hospitals.

Is it a legal document?

Yes.

Yes.  The Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care was developed in association with the  Virginia Bar Association. Other advance directives are also legally recognized documents.

What’s the intent of document?

To record your medical treatment instructions when you are unable to communicate.

To record your medical treatment instructions when you are unable to communicate.

Is there any guidance offered about what different medical treatments and options mean?

No, guidance about life-sustaining medical treatment is not normally provided by attorneys when creating a Living Will with a client.

Yes, the As You Wish team provides guidance and information necessary for you to understand your options before creating the Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care. Guidance is also provided by staff with local health systems related to an advance directive.  Understanding life-sustaining treatment options, the benefits, burdens and outcomes based on your age, health, values and preferences is an essential part of planning and recording your wishes.

What’s a medical power of attorney or health care agent?

A Medical Power of Attorney is the person you designate to make any health care decisions, if you are too ill or injured to communicate.

A Health Care Agent is the person you designate to make any health care decisions, if you are too ill or injured to communicate.

What’s included in the document?

Each living will is unique. Medical power of attorney identification or organ donation instructions may or may not be included.

The Virginia Advance Directive for Health Care includes your decisions about medical treatment for end of life care, identifies your health care agent, and organ donation option.

Document format?

Each living will is unique and must be read carefully by nurses and care providers to understand your wishes. This can take time, often in critical situations.

The standard Virginia form is commonly seen and understood by medical teams. Because it is standard in Virginia, the format and contents are familiar to the medical community.