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Quickly create your Kentucky health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive forms 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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Kentucky health care directive options for everyone

Health Care Directive

For One Person

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

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


Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

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

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

Attorney-approved Kentucky health care directives

If you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition and become unable to make medical choices for yourself, your family and medical professionals may struggle to decide which treatments to choose on your behalf. With a health care directive, you can decide for yourself whether you would request or reject life-sustaining procedures under such circumstances. This can potentially spare your loved ones from agonizing over these decisions.


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 Kentucky health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions on your medical treatments

Through your health care directive, you are able to make health care choices in advance. Also known as a type of “advance directive or “living will,” a health care directive is a legal document that covers your preferences regarding the administration or withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment. These would include procedures like artificial hydration, artificial nutrition (tube feeding), and others.

It is your right to choose whether you would accept or refuse such treatments in the event that you become incapacitated. These kinds of decisions can be difficult to make. If you have trouble with them, it can be helpful to discuss them with trusted loved ones or a family doctor.

Choose a health care surrogate

Under the Kentucky Living Will Directive Act, you can name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. This is part of your advance directive. The person you choose is known as a health care surrogate or health care agent. They would have the power to make medical decisions for you if you become medically unable to do so for yourself.

If you choose a health care surrogate, you should select someone who understands your treatment preferences. They should be aware of the terms of your health care directive and be able to carry them out. Many people select a close friend, spouse, or other family member for this role. It may be a good idea to name a contingent surrogate in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to take on this responsibility.

There are a few restrictions under Kentucky law on your choices for health care surrogates. You may not choose an owner, employee, officer, or director of a health care facility where you receive treatment. The exceptions to this rule would be if the individual is a relative or belongs to the same fraternal or religious order as you do.

Sign your health care directive

You should sign and date your health care directive. If you are unable to sign, you may direct someone to sign and date for you instead. There should be two adult witnesses present at the time of your signature. They should then sign the document while in your presence and each others. If you cannot gather witnesses, you can sign in front of a notary public instead.

Under Kentucky law, the following individuals may not act as a notary public or witnesses to your health care directive:

  • Anybody related to you by blood
  • Your attending physician
  • Anybody who stands to inherit from you
  • Someone who pays your health care bills

These restrictions may eliminate many people in your group of close friends and family members. If you have trouble gathering two witnesses who do not fall under the above categories, it may be best to notarize your health care directive instead.

Distribute your health care directive

After you have signed your health care directive, it’s important to make sure that it ends up in the right hands. Most importantly, your health care surrogate and loved ones should have copies so they know and understand your medical preferences. Further, you should be sure to supply your health care professionals with a copy for your medical records.

Update your health care directive

It’s a good idea to review your health care directive and your health care surrogate designation every few years at least. This helps to assure that they remain in line with your preferences. You should also update your estate plan (including advance directives) anytime you go through a significant life event. Major life changes include things like an interstate move, a divorce, or a simple change of heart.

If you go through a divorce, you may want to change your health care surrogate and remove or add beneficiaries to your will. When you move to a new state, it’s a good idea to update your advance directives to make sure that they comply with the laws of your new state of residence.

Rest assured that if you create a health care directive through FindLaw, you can make unlimited updates to your document for a full year after purchase.

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
Find a local estate planning lawyer

Ready to start your Kentucky health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Frequently asked questions about Kentucky health care directives

last will and testament (a “will”) is the main estate planning document. Through a will, you can provide for the distribution of your assets (your real estate and personal property) after your death. If you have minor children, you can also use a will to name trusted guardians for them.

A living will, also known as a health care directive, is a type of advance directive that you can use to specify your health care wishes and name a health care surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf. A health care directive does not replace a will because you cannot use it to distribute your assets. A comprehensive estate plan may contain both a will and a health care directive.

No, there is no legal requirement to make a health care directive and it is not a condition for receiving medical treatment. However, you may want to create advance directives if you have specific health care wishes that you want to make clear in advance.

Through advance directives, you can leave instructions on the following issues:

  • Select a health care surrogate to make medical decisions for you
  • Make your wishes on organ donation known
  • Leave instructions about whether you would accept or refuse life-sustaining treatments like tube feeding or intravenous hydration.

You have the right to make your own health care decisions. Advance directives allow you to plan for health care scenarios that might arise in the future. To give yourself some peace of mind, you can create a customized health care directive with FindLaw in about half an hour.

There are a few basic requirements that a Kentucky health care directive must satisfy to be considered legally valid:

  • You must be an adult and of sound mind
  • You must sign and date your document or direct someone to do so for you
  • There must be two adult witnesses present at the time you sign. They should then sign the document too. If you have trouble gathering witnesses, you may acknowledge your signature to a notary public instead.

There are a number of restrictions on who may act as a witness or notary public to your health care directive. Generally, relatives, health care workers, and people who pay for your health care are not allowed to act as witnesses or notaries. These restrictions help to protect patients and prevent conflicts of interest. They are covered in more detail in the steps above.

Kentucky law further requires that a health care directive should be in substantially the same format as the statutory form. But it may contain additional directions as permitted by Kentucky law. If you create your health care directive with FindLaw, you will receive an attorney-approved legal document that is customized to Kentucky law.

A health care surrogate can only make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to give informed consent on medical procedures.

Your health care surrogate has a broad power to make any medical care decision you would have been able to make when you had the capacity to do so. Their legal duty is to carry out your wishes as they understand them, and as you specified in your health care directive.

Under Kentucky law, your health care surrogate is only authorized to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration under one or more of the following conditions:

  • When death is unavoidable and is expected within a few days
  • In the event that you are permanently unconscious, and your health care directive authorizes the withholding of artificial hydration and nutrition
  • If you become physically unable to absorb nutrition
  • If the burdens of providing artificial nutrition and hydration outweigh the benefits

Note, however, that Kentucky law does not permit a health care surrogate to withdraw artificially provided nutrition or hydration if doing so would cause pain.

Under Kentucky law, you can revoke your health care directive in a few ways:

  • Create a signed and dated writing that declares your intention to revoke
  • Make an oral statement of your intention to revoke to at least two witnesses. One of the witnesses must be a health care provider; or
  • Physically destroy the health care directive with the intention to revoke or direct someone to do so for you

An effective way to perform a revocation is to create a new health care directive that revokes all prior ones. With FindLaw, you can create a new health care directive without needing to leave home in under an hour.

Whenever you revoke or change your advance directives, you should be sure to inform your loved ones and medical providers. If you selected a health care surrogate, make sure that they are aware of your updated wishes and that they have a copy of your current documents.

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