Advance Directive/Living Will
An advance directive includes:
- an oral or written statement of your wishes for the future, usually related to health care
- a written designation of an agent to make health-care decisions for you (also known as a durable health-care power of attorney)
You can express your wishes in advance on anything related to health care. You may also use an advance directive to express your wishes on other matters that you believe would be helpful to your family or treatment providers. For example, some persons want to express their wishes in advance regarding funeral arrangements or organ donation. You can be as specific as you want to be.
You can revoke an advance directive, including a health care directive, at anytime and in any manner that communicates an intent to revoke the advance directive. You do not need to do this in writing.
In order to revoke the designation of an agent (durable health care power of attorney), you need to do this in writing, and sign and date the document, or you need to communicate your intent to revoke the designation clearly to your primary physician.
Any time you revoke either an advance directive or the designation of an agent, it is important to communicate this intent to all persons or agencies that were originally notified of the advance directive or the designation of your agent. Otherwise, persons who are not aware that you changed your mind will be able to act upon your prior statements or documents.
There are several versions of advance health care directives/living wills available. You may use one of the forms already created, modify it or create your own document. Whatever form you use in Maine, you must sign it and have two other persons sign as witnesses. A form widely used in Maine is Advance Directive Form (PDF). Get more information about Advance Directives (PDF).