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Who To Give Copies Of Advance Directives


Keep a copy of your Advance Directives in a safe place that people can get to. Do not keep the copy in your safe deposit box. Give a copy of each of your Advance Directives to:

  • Each of your doctors or other medical practitioners. (Make sure each of them includes a copy in your medical record).  
  • Any hospital or other facility you enter
  • Your lawyer or other advisor
  • The person you usually list as your Emergency Contact
  • Your health care proxy (the person who you appoint to make decisions about medical care in your place if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. A proxy is appointed under a document generally known as a "Healthcare Power Of Attorney").
  • Your alternate Health Care Proxy.

Consider also:

  • Registering a copy at the U.S. Registry of Living Wills ( offsite link, Tel.: 800.548.9455 - particularly if you travel. Documents registered at the Registry can be accessed online from anywhere in the world.
  • Keeping a copy of your Living Will in your wallet or purse - particularly if you are prone to accidents or suffer from a health situation which often includes emergencies. If not a copy, at least a note stating such documents exist and where they can be found.

NOTE: Keep track of each of the people to whom you give a copy. If you make changes, be sure to give a copy of the revised document to each of those people and whoever else may have been added to your life since then.

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