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Make Your Wishes Known

An advance directive is a form you fill out so that your doctors and others will know what medical care you want if you become too sick to communicate or make your own decisions.

Attorney for Health Care and Living Will

There are two basic types: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and a Living Will.

These are not just for the elderly. Unexpected situations can happen at any time and at any age. However, no one can require you to have an advance directive. You’ll still receive health care treatment from UM Health-West without one.

Living Will

Many people complete an advance directive form that includes both the Patient Advocate form and the Living Will, which describes your care choices in writing. Although it isn’t legally binding in Michigan, a Living Will helps your Patient Advocate and doctor know what care you would want under certain conditions.

We’ll follow the decisions made by your Patient Advocate, as long as he or she follows the wishes you put into your advance directive, and the laws of the state of Michigan.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

Also called a Patient Advocate form, this gives an adult family member or friend the legal rights to make health care decisions for you. Your Patient Advocate can only make decisions for you when it’s clear you can no longer make them yourself. It’s important that you talk about the care choices you want with your Patient Advocate.


If you have an advance directive, please bring a copy with you to your next visit to your doctor or the hospital. We’ll make a copy to put into your medical record.

Click below to download free forms to make an advance directive that is legally binding in the state of Michigan.

If you have questions, call UM Health-West’s Legal Services Department at 616.252.7466.