When you think of legal documents, it’s likely that you think about keeping them filed away somewhere safe, like a locked firebox or desk drawer.

After Making Your Advance Directive


But ADs are different.  We don’t want them locked away.

We want to share these because they serve us best when they are available during crises.  

We need many individuals to have copies of the AD.

Your doctors and agent cannot follow your AD if they don’t know where it is.  They need to be able to find it quickly and easily.  Please make copies of your AD and share these copies with people you trust.

Some people you might want to share your AD with:

  • Health care agent(s)
  • Primary care doctor
  • Psychiatrist or psychologist
  • Case manager
  • Community Services Board
  • Local hospital(s)
  • Other health care providers
  • Attorney
  • Family members
  • Trusted friends
  • Clergy person

Please keep track of the people to whom you give copies. Why is this important? Because if you want to change or cancel your AD sometime in the future, you will need to let everyone who has a copy know about these changes.  To help you keep track of who you have given your Advance Directive to, you can use “My Advance Directive Tracking Sheet.” 

Another way that you can make your Advance Directive available to others is by using one of the Advance Directive Registries.  To learn more about the AD Registries, please click here.

For another resource to help you think through good next steps to take once you have completed your Advance Directive, please see the Next Steps Worksheet.  For a type-in version of this resource, please click here.