Legal Language Can Be Easy to Understand

Breaking new ground with ABA's healthcare directive

The American Bar Association’s healthcare directive, Giving Someone Power of Attorney for Your Health Care: A Guide with an Easy-to-Use, Legal Form for All Adults, combines the legal requirements for most states into a single document that most people throughout the country can use.

ABA staff devised the draft, then we wrote it in plain language and made the design easy to follow.

Our document was clear, inviting, and legally sound.

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ClearMark Award Winner for Best Legal Document

The ClearMark awards honor the best in clear communication and plain language, celebrating documents and websites. ClearMark Award Logo

What did the judges say?

  • The airy form itself is a relief from the density that afflicts so many forms.
  • The writing expresses complex considerations without overwhelming. The thinking is tough-minded, but the writing is never intimidating. That’s quite a feat.
  • It has the big three: meaty content; strong, visible organization; and effective wording.
  • The instructions and form are almost fun to work through.
  • The layout and wording show great attention to helping users navigate the document and understand the words. For all its details, the document never overwhelms, because it is presented in well-worded, visually attractive units.