Durable Power of Attorney & Living Will

Power of Attorney for property

A Durable Power of Attorney is a written document authorizing another to act as one's agent or attorney. It is typically employed to designate a responsible party in case of an anticipated or feared disability. The power can pass to the agent immediately or it can become effective only in the event the individual becomes incapacitated or disabled.

A Durable Personal Power of Attorney is durable because it is designed to survive the incapacity of the principal. It is personal because it relates only to personal assets and interests, not routine business matters that are specific event targeted and short lived, and it is a power of attorney because it allows one person, the principal, to give authority to another person, the agent, to act on the principal's behalf.

For more information, please visit the Delaware Health and Social Services web site.

Delaware's Advance Health Care Directive Form and Information — Living Will and Power of Attorney for Health Care

An advance directive is established by completing an Advance Health Care Directive Form. An advance directive enables you to: give specific instructions about health care decisions if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious; name another individual as an agent to make health care decisions for you if you can no longer make your own decisions; and if you wish, to designate anatomical gifts to take effect upon your death.

Part I of this form lets you give specific instructions about health care decisions. Choices are provided for you to express your wishes regarding the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of treatment to keep you alive, including the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration as well as the provision of pain relief. These choices take effect only if you are in a "qualifying condition." A "qualifying condition" is either a terminal condition or permanent unconsciousness.

Part II of this form is a Power of Attorney for Health Care. Part II lets you name another individual as agent to make health care decisions for you, if a physician determines you lack the capacity to make your own health care decisions. You may also name an alternate agent to act for you if your first choice is not willing, able or reasonably available to make decisions for you. Unless related to you, an agent may not be an operator or employee of a residential long-term health care facility at which you are receiving care.