Advance Directive Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Advance Directive.

Advance Directive noun

An Advance Directive is a legal document that communicates a person's medical wishes if they become unable to make decisions for themselves. This often includes situations of serious illness or incapacity. It can include living wills (which explain what kind of treatments the individual would want or not want) and durable power of attorney for healthcare (naming another person to make decisions on their behalf). The purpose of an Advance Directive is to make sure an individual's healthcare desires are respected even when they're not able to communicate them.