Copies of Your Living Will
Generally, an original or copy of both your living will and your health care power of attorney should be given to the person you designate as your health care agent. You may choose to give copies of your health care power of attorney to:
- your spouse, adult children, or other close relatives or friends who may be contacted in the event you suffer a terminal illness or injury;
- your regular primary care physician;
- any specialist physician who is treating you;
- any assisted living facility or nursing home in which you reside; and
- any hospital, outpatient surgery center, or other health care facility where you will be receiving treatment (this is normally done at the time of admission).
Keep in mind that you may decide to change your living will or health care power of attorney in the future. If so, be sure to provide updated versions to those who received the prior versions.
If You Only Have a Living Will
It is very important that you only give a power of attorney to someone in whom you have complete trust to act in your best interests and according to what you would want. If there is no such person, you should not have a health care power of attorney. You will be relying on the living will to express your desires. If all you have is a living will, you should consider giving a copy to all of those listed above.
Note: Carry copies of your living will and health care power of attorney with you wherever you travel, so that you will always be prepared.