We often hear the terms “Living Will”, “Advance Directive” and “Health Care Power of Attorney” as important documents for people to have, and this becomes especially true if we are dealing with serious medical issues, but what is the difference between these documents?  Essentially, an Advance Directive is any type of document that addresses ones wishes regarding future medical care.  Both a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care are “Advance Directives”.  A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document in which you appoint an individual to make medical decisions for you if you have been determined to be unable to do that for yourself.  This person is called your Patient Advocate.  A Living Will is a document wherein you specifically state the types of treatment you want or do not want if you are unable to communicate those choices in the future.  In Michigan, a “Living Will” on its own is not a legally binding document, though it is sometimes incorporated as a part of an individual’s Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.  This allows a patient advocate to understand your specific wishes so he or she can act in accordance with those wishes.   Michigan law does allow for the signing of a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and designation of a Patient Advocate.  There are specific signing and witness requirements for this document.  In general, Zolton Law Offices, prepares a more general Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care without specific “living will” check boxes stating what one wants or does not want.  This allows your Patient Advocate to react and respond to the specific circumstances of your medical condition and prognosis and to make decisions  consistent with your feelings on the issue, given all the facts presented to them from medical professionals.  Please contact our office if you would like to set up an appointment for a consultation with an attorney to discuss Health Care Power of Attorney or other estate planning goals.