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Monday, February 8, 2010

What is an advance directive?

If you frequently seek and use mental health services, you may want to establish an advance directive. There are two general types of advance directives: instructional, such as living wills, and proxy, such as durable power of attorney. Each directive is a legal document that lets you describe what services you want to receive if an illness renders you unable to make decisions about your care. Give a copy of the directive to your usual service provider(s) so that it can become part of your medical record. Laws about advance directives vary from State to State. Work with a lawyer, paralegal, or advocate to write your advance directive.

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