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LegalCornerTM - Health Care Directives and Living Wills F.A.Q.'s

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Q.How Do I Get A Living Will, Durable Power Of Attorney or Advance Health Care Directive?

A.Although many stationary stores and online legal services carry a form version of these documents, you are best having an attorney review the document with you so it can be amended to suit your particular wishes and needs. Below is table showing the type of documents available in your state and the number of witnesses required.

Most states requires these documents to be witnessed by two individuals, who often cannot be a relative by blood or marriage, a person designated as a beneficiary under your Will or trust, an heir to your estate, or an employee of your treating physician(s), hospital(s), or care facilities.



State
Laws For Living Wills, Durable Power Of Attorney
and Advanced Health Care Directive
Alabama
Advance Health Care Directive requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.
Alaska
Living will requires no witnesses. Health Care Proxy for general medical decisions requires two witnesses.
Arizona
Both a Living Will and Power Of Attorney For Health Care require One witness and a Notary.
Arkansas
Both a Living Will and a Health Care Proxy require two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.
California
Advance Healthcare Directive requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses OR a notary.
Colorado
Declaration requires two witnesses; not valid if pregnant. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care requires no witnesses.
Connecticut
Both a Living Will and Appointment of a Health Care Agent require two witnesses whose signatures should be notarized. Not valid if pregnant. Appointment of an “attorney-in-fact” for health care decisions must be notarized.
Delaware
Advance Health Care Directive (includes living will and health care proxy provisions) requires two witnesses.
District of Columbia
Both a Living Will and Power Of Attorney For Health Care require Two witnesses.
Florida
Both a Living Will and Designation of a Health Care Proxy require Two witnesses.
Georgia
Both a Living Will and Power Of Attorney For Health Care require two witnesses. Living will is not valid if pregnant.
Hawaii
Advance health-care directive (includes Living Will and Power Of Attorney For Health Care provisions) requires two witnesses and a notary. Living Will is not valid if pregnant.
Idaho
Living Will requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses or a notary public.
Illinois
Living Will requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires one witness.
Indiana
Living Will requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care and appointment of health care representative each require a notary.
Iowa
Living Will requires two witnesses OR a notary. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses or a notary.
Kansas
Living Will requires two witnesses or a notary.
Kentucky
Living Will Directive (containing provisions to appoint a surrogate) requires two witnesses or notary. Not valid if pregnant.
Louisiana
Both a Living Will and a Health Care Proxy require two witnesses.
Maine
Advance Directive Sections 1 and 2 require two witnesses.
Maryland
Both Advance Medical Directive and Appointment of a Health Care Agent require two witnesses.
Massachusetts
No provision for a living will. Health Care Proxy requires two witnesses.
Michigan
No provision for a living will. Designation of a Patient Advocate requires two witnesses.
Minnesota
Both a Living Will and Power of Attorney for Health Care require two witness or a notary. Living Will is Not valid if pregnant.
Mississippi
Advance health Care Directive (includes both living will and health care proxy provisions) requires two witnesses or a notary.
Missouri
Living Will Declaration requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses or a notary.
Montana
Living Will Declaration requires two witnesses.
Nebraska
Living Will requires two witnesses and a notary.
Nevada
Living Will Declaration requires two witnesses. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses or a notary.
New Hampshire
Living will requires two witnesses AND a notary OR a judge. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires a notary public, judge, OR two witnesses.
New Jersey
Either instruction directive, or appointment of a health care representative requires two witnesses, a notary public, OR signature in front of a lawyer.
New Mexico
Instructions for Health Care and Power of Attorney for Health Care allowed. No witness required. (§24-7A-2)
New York
Both a Living Will and Appointment of a Health Care Agent (health Care Proxy) require two witnesses.
North Carolina
Both a Living Will (Declaration Of A Desire For A Natural Death) and Power of Attorney For Health Care require two witnesses. Living Will Not valid if pregnant.
North Dakota
Health Care Directive (includes provisions for a Living Will and appointment of agent) requires two witnesses. Living Will Not valid if pregnant.
Ohio
Both a Living Will and Power of Attorney For Health Care require two witnesses or a notary. Living Will Not valid if pregnant unless pregnancy won't develop to a live birth.
Oklahoma
Advance Directive for Health Care (Includes Living Will and Health Care Proxy provisions). Living Will not valid if pregnant.
Oregon
Advance Directive for Health Care (Includes Living Will and Power of Attorney provisions) requires two witnesses.
Pennsylvania
Advance Directive for Health Care (includes living will and appointment of a Surrogate provisions) requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.
Rhode Island
Both a Declaration Re: Life Sustaining Procedures and Power of Attorney For Health Care require two witnesses. Living Will not valid if pregnant if the fetus could develop for a live birth.
South Carolina
Declaration of desire for a natural death requires two witnesses and a notary. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses. Witnesses should not be the attending physician, employee of the attending physician, an employee of a health facility in which the declarant is a patient, or a person related to the declarant by blood, marriage, or adoption, financially responsible for the declarant's medical care, entitled to a portion of the declarant's estate, or a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
South Dakota
Living Will requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses or a notary.
Tennessee
Both a Living Will and Power of Attorney For Health Care require two witnesses. At least one of the two witnesses must NOT be related by blood, marriage, or adoption and must not be a beneficiary of your estate.
Texas
Directive to Physicians requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses.
Utah
Utah Directive to Physicians and Providers of Medical Services requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Utah Special Power of Attorney requires notary.
Vermont
Advanced Directive requires two non-relative witnesses. Not valid if in, or about to be admitted to, a nursing home, residential care facility, or hospital unless an ombudsman, member of the clergy, or an attorney sign.
Virginia
Advanced Directive requires two witnesses.
Washington
Health Care Directive re: life support requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care only recommends two witnesses.
West Virginia
Both a Living Will and Power Of Attorney for Health Care require two witnesses and a notary.
Wisconsin
Both a Declaration to Physicians and Power of Attorney for Health care require two witnesses. Declaration to Physicians is not valid if pregnant.
Wyoming
Living Will requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Power of Attorney for Health Care requires two witnesses and a notary.



© Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.