Monticello Estate Planning Attorney Answers: What to put in your Health Care Directive

Apr 9, 2009

Many people wonder what they can put in their Health Care Directive.  The answer to that question really is, what do you want to put in it?

Your Health Care Directive can be as specific or as general as you want.  You can appoint health care agent(s) and alternate health care agent(s) and specify if they can act independently or must act jointly.  You can explain your general goals, values, and beliefs that impact your thoughts about health care.  You can provide specific health care instructions regarding medical treatments, pain relief, nutrition and hydration, and mental health treatments.  You can have special provisions for pregnancy.  A Health Care Directive can also specify where you want to receive medical care or state your preference for a court-appointed guardian or conservator.  And finally, you can use your Health Care Directive to state your preference as to donations of organs and tissues, cremation or burial, and funeral arrangements.   What you do with a Health Care Directive is really up to you, because YOUR DECISIONS MATTER.

For information on Health Care Directives specifically in Minnesota, check out the Minnesota Department of Health’s Questions and Answers on Health Care Directives.  Besides the general what is a health care directive and how to make one, there is also a good list of what you can put in a health care directive.