There are two types of advance directives: health care power of attorney and living will.
A health care power of attorney is a medical power of attorney that allows an individual to grant another person, a proxy, the right and authority to handle matters related to their medical care.
This durable power of attorney for health care allows the health care proxy to make decisions regarding personal care, medical treatment, hospitalization, health care, and medical procedures during a period of incapacity.
A durable document continues or takes effect when the principal party is incapacitated or disabled. A living will is a written statement of a person's health care and medical wishes in a terminal illness. A living will addresses "life-sustaining treatment" decisions.
It is common practice to combine both advance directives into the same form.