Advance Directives

Ohio Advance Directives are comprised of two documents—an Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will.

We always recommend our clients have a Health Care Power of Attorney. But a Living Will is optional.

The Health Care Power of Attorney is your ability to delegate your health care decision making to someone else—your agent. Your agent only serves when you’re unable to make your own healthcare decisions. This could be when you’re under anesthesia or if you’ve lost capacity to act because of demential or Alzheimer’s.

What kind of powers do they have?


  • Hire and fire doctors
  • Elect or decline procedures
  • Choose facilities or transfer facilities

What about end of life decision making?

End of life decision making only comes into play if you’re at the end stage of a terminal condition or in a permanently unconscious state. This is not the scenario of you having a heart attack. But rather it’s prolonging or not prolonging life where the physicians see no possibility of recovery. And it also has to be a time when you can’t speak for yourself. If that’s the case and you’re dependent on a machine to keep you alive, you have three choices (and there's no right or wrong answer).
1. Leave life support on;
2. Elect now, yourself, to remove life support on your future self if these conditions happen; or
3. Give your health care agent the authority to make the decision for you.