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Questions about the coronavirus pandemic?

Visit the Coronavirus Legal Center and ask a lawyer today.

Do I need an Advance Directive if I am not sick?

Regardless of age or medical history, every adult should have an Advance Directive. This legal document enables you to outline your wishes related to medical care, so that doctors are able to carry them out if you are unable to communicate. In addition to decisions about treatment, an Advance Directive can also allow you to choose a trusted agent to act on your behalf.

This document is governed by state law, so what is included can vary. That said, there are two types of advance directives recognized in most states: a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney. The Advance Directive on the Coronavirus Legal Center will allow you to make one or both documents.

During a global health crisis, it is even more critical that your Advance Directive and Last Will and Testament are up-to-date. If you have minor children, a Last Will and Testament is the only official opportunity you have to name a guardian.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney can be helpful for parents of college students or other adult children, as it can grant you access to doctors and medical records in case your child is unable to communicate or make decisions on their own. Along the same lines, making a Living Will for yourself can protect your children from having to make those hard decisions for you.

If you are a pet parent, a Pet Foster Care Agreement can help you set up temporary care in the event that you are hospitalized or otherwise unable to be at home.

Need more help?

In addition to offering these key legal documents, the Coronavirus Legal Center for Individuals & Families is an essential resource for legal guidance in relation to government benefits such as emergency family leave, paid sick leave and unemployment benefits. Find out what relief you might be eligible for and learn how to apply. If you have more questions, talk to a lawyer.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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