Tools for Protecting What’s Yours – Healthcare Advance Directive

In the first two posts of our series “Tools for Protecting What’s Yours” we discussed the Financial Power of Attorney and having a Trusted Contact Person. The last tool we will be covering to help you protect what’s yours is a Healthcare Advance Directive.


Your healthcare advance directive can offer two types of protection:

– Your living will provides your life-sustaining and end-of-life medical care instructions, and related healthcare preferences in case a time comes when you cannot state them for yourself.

– Your healthcare directive can also name healthcare representative(s), or agent(s) and grant them healthcare power of attorney. If you cannot make your own healthcare decisions, your agent can decide on your behalf, guided by your living will. Medical professionals can also more freely discuss your condition with your agent, without violating HIPAA.

Your healthcare advance directive only comes into play if you are alive, but unable to direct your own medical care.

A healthcare directive is commonly used when: Accidents and illnesses can temporarily or permanently diminish your mental capacity. If there is no advance directive in place, healthcare professionals and/or key family members may have to make medical decisions for you, without knowing what you would have preferred. Also, the individual you would most want to have making decisions on your behalf may not be able to do so if you haven’t named them as your representative in your advance directive.


  • In addition to having an advance directive in place, it should be easy to access it when needed. Distribute copies to your primary physician and any of your other healthcare providers to keep on file. Give it to key family members.
  • If your child recently turned 18, consider creating a healthcare power of attorney because as soon as he or she is an adult, healthcare providers may not be able to discuss your child’s case with you. Also, if your child is attending school in out of state, it’s worth establishing a healthcare power of attorney in their state and as well as yours.

We hope that this information provides you with some clarity as you plan to protect what’s yours. We can help put you in touch with select professionals to assist with legal aspects – or we ourselves can help you sort through the logistics involved. With offices in Rutland and Williston, Vermont Copper Leaf Financial develops a customized wealth management plan designed to integrate every aspect of your financial life. Our approach is to provide clarity and calm amidst the chaos. Where there is uncertainty, we look for facts. We call our approach evidence-based investing. Call us today at 802-878-2731 to schedule a strategy session and begin building your road map to financial success. You can also email us at [email protected] or visit our website.

This material has been authored by a 3rd party and CLF makes no representation and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented.