This chapter begins with a brief inquiry into the whole idea of planning for the end of our lives. Advance directives are instructions for actions to be taken in the future if we are not able to speak for ourselves at the time. The living will was the first advance directive to receive general attention in the United States. The living will stirred up interest, hope, and anxiety. The chapter considers now some of the major developments in advance directives since the introduction of the original living will. State legislatures hesitated, then complied with, the public's request to place a legal foundation under the living will. Combined advance directive provides the opportunity for people to consider the full range of end-of-life options and share their questions and views with their families, friends, and professional service providers. The new social and medical climate for end-of-life decisions favors strengthened participation, communication, and patients' rights.