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Quickly create your Colorado health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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Colorado health care directive options for everyone

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

$49
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase

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Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$189
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

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Attorney-approved health care directives

If you are ever hospitalized with an terminal condition, your family and medical staff may struggle deciding which treatments to administer or withhold on your behalf. With a health care directive, you can provide instructions to detail your medical care wishes. A health care directive allows you to make end-of-life medical choices for yourself, and it can spare your loved ones from making these difficult decisions for you.

Kimberly_Lekman_image

Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

Reviewed by:

John Devendorf, Esq.

Contributing Author

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to make my Colorado health care directive valid?

If you want a living will, you can hire a lawyer or use a health care directive form from a reliable source. If you use a form, follow these steps:

Make decisions about your medical treatment

Through your health care directive (a type of “advance directive“), you can make decisions about the treatments you would accept or refuse in the event of a terminal illness or injury. Your health care providers will follow these instructions when deciding whether to provide or withhold life-sustaining procedures.

The types of treatments you need to make decisions about include artificial hydration, artificial nutrition, breathing tubes, CPR, and other procedures that only serve to prolong natural death. These health care decisions can be difficult to make in advance. If you have any trouble with your choices, it may be helpful to discuss them with your loved ones and a trusted doctor.

Choose your health care agent

Under the Colorado Patient Autonomy Act, you may name someone to make medical decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make them for yourself. This person is often referred to as your health care agent, and their duty is to carry out the terms of your health care directive. You can name your health care agent through a legal document called a medical durable power of attorney. This is another type of advance directive.

When selecting a health care agent, it’s a good idea to choose someone who understands your medical preferences and personal views.

Sign your health care directive

To make your health care directive legally valid, you must sign it in front of two witnesses or a notary public. If you are unable to sign, you can direct someone to sign it for you. Note that there are a few restrictions under Colorado’s Medical Treatment Decisions Act on who may sign on your behalf or act as a witness.

The following people may not act as witnesses or sign your name on your behalf:

  • Your attending doctor or any other doctor
  • An employee of your doctor or of the health care facility where you receive treatment
  • Anyone who may be entitled to inherit from you
  • Anyone who may be able to claim a debt against your estate

You may need to ask friends, neighbors, or other acquaintances who are not beneficiaries to your last will to sign your name and act as witnesses for your health care directive.

Distribute your documents

After signing your health care directive, make sure to give copies of it to the right people. You should distribute copies to your loved ones and your health care agent (if you have one). Further, make sure to give your medical provider copies of your advance directives to enter into your medical record.

Update your health care directive

A good rule of thumb is to review your estate planning documents every few years at least. This includes your advance directives. You may need to update sooner if you go through any significant life changes. In the event that you have gone through a divorce, received a diagnosis of a new medical condition, completed an out-of-state move, or simply had a change of heart, you may wish to change your advance directives.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
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Create my health care directive

Frequently asked questions about Colorado health care directives

The terms “will” and “living will” are deceptively similar, but they refer to very different legal documents. A good estate plan may contain both a living will and a will.

A living will, also know as a health care directive, is a legal document that you use to provide directions to medical staff about which procedures to provide or withhold if you are ever hospitalized with a terminal condition.

last will and testament (a “will”) is the primary estate planning document. You use it to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death. You can also name guardians for minor children through a will. A will only becomes effective after your death, and you cannot use it to specify your medical treatment preferences. If you want to create instructions on end-of-life medical issues, you need to create a health care directive.

To create a legally binding health care directive, you must make sure to follow certain requirements in Colorado’s Medical Treatment Decisions Act :

  • Capacity: You must be an adult with the mental capacity to make decisions
  • Signature: You must sign the document or direct someone to sign it for you. If someone signs the document on your behalf, this person does not qualify as a witness.
  • Witnesses or notary public: There must be two witnesses present when you sign your health care directive or you must sign in front of a notary public.

There are restrictions under Colorado law on who may sign on your behalf and who may witness your document. In general, you may not choose your health care providers, their employees, your heirs, or your creditors to witness or sign your health care directive on your behalf. Instead, you may need to reach out to friends, acquaintances, or neighbors who do not stand to inherit from you.

Your health care agent’s duty is to make medical decisions for you in the event that you ever become unable to make them for yourself. They then have the same ability to make treatment choices and to access your medical records as you would have. They are legally required to make these choices in accordance with their understanding of your treatment preferences. If there are specific areas where you would like to limit your agent’s decision-making powers, you can do so through your power of attorney document.

Your health care directive does not become effective simply because you are hospitalized or enduring a medical emergency. Your medical team will only act upon the instructions in your health care directive under certain specific conditions. A health care directive becomes effective under Colorado law in the event that you are medically unable to give informed consent on your medical treatment and you:

  • Have a terminal condition; or
  • Are in a persistent vegetative state.

Your attending physician and another physician must both make these determinations before they may legally act on the instructions of your health care directive. They must then document this determination in writing and enter it into the medical record.

Colorado’s health care laws allow you to revoke your health care directive in a few ways:

  • Verbally
  • In writing
  • By physically destroying the document

Physical acts of destruction include burning, tearing, canceling, and others. Although a verbal revocation is permitted under the law, it is better to revoke your documents through a new writing. This provides a record of your revocation to your loved ones and health care providers.

If you decide to completely revoke your health care directive, an effective way to do so is to create a new one. Remember that when you create a living will through FindLaw, you can make unlimited revisions for a full year after purchase.

Whenever you change your health care directive, you should be sure to inform your healthcare team. This will allow them to make the necessary changes to your medical record. You should also provide your health care agent with a current copy of your health care directive so that they have your most up-to-date wishes at hand.

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