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Quickly create your Michigan 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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A quick and easy way to create your Michigan health care directive

If you become terminally ill and permanently unconscious without a Michigan health care directive, the doctors treating you must turn to your loved ones for answers to difficult questions regarding end-of-life medical care. A well-written health care directive provides your doctors and family with answers on how to approach your medical treatment so your choices are respected if you can’t speak for yourself.

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Written by:

J.P. Finet, J.D.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

A Michigan health care directive tailored to your needs

Health Care Directive

For One Person

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

$39
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

$135
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

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 steps must I take to make my Michigan health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Decide what types of end-of-life medical care you would like to receive

Before you sit down to draft your health care directive you need to take a few minutes to think about how you would like some common end-of-life medical decisions to be handled. Some examples of questions that often arise when a terminally ill patient is unresponsive include:

  • When cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be administered
  • Taking liquid and foods through either feeding tubes or intravenously
  • Mechanical ventilation if you are unable to breathe on your own
  • Whether you should receive antibiotics or other medications
  • End-of-life care (palliative care) choices about things like pain management, invasive treatments, and wanting to die at home
  • Whether you would like to donate your organs, tissue, or body

There is no requirement that all—or any—of those situations be directly addressed in your health care directive. You can address those issues with blanket statements either rejecting or requesting the medical treatments that would prolong your life.

Decide if you want to give someone health care power of attorney

durable power of attorney for health care lets you designate another person to make decisions regarding your medical treatment if you are unable to do so yourself. Someone with durable power of attorney for health care is sometimes called a “patient advocate” or “health care proxy.” You can also empower someone with health care power of attorney to make decisions regarding your mental health care and organ donation.

Someone with durable power of attorney is only allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate your wishes regarding treatment. That incapacity could either be temporary, such as if you are badly injured in an accident, or if you have been rendered permanently unable to communicate.

The types of decisions that someone with health care power of attorney is usually allowed to make on your behalf include:

  • What medical care you should receive
  • The hospital or other facility where you are treated
  • Which doctors and medical professionals will provide your treatment
  • Whether you should be moved to a nursing home or other long-term care facility

Write your health care directive

Whether you choose to do it yourself, hire an attorney, or use a safe and easy service like FindLaw’s, the language you use in your health care directive is vital. It must be both specific enough that your loved ones and doctors understand your intentions, but general enough that it will apply to a broad range of situations. Many health care directives simply list common end-of-life medical treatments and whether you find them acceptable.

However, Michigan allows you to use general terms to express your wishes when it comes to your medical care after a doctor has declared you to be terminally ill and permanently unconscious. For example, you could simply state that you authorize any and all measures be taken that to prolong your life. Likewise, you can say you only want treatment that will make you comfortable.

Execute your health care directive

There are no statutes in Michigan that specifically address health care directives. That means there are no state requirements that your health care directive be witnessed or notarized to be valid. And while there are several state court decisions which have found them to be legally binding, your health care directive is more likely to be upheld by the courts if it has been witnessed and notarized.

You should also discuss your health care directive with your family and doctors so that they are aware of your wishes. Those discussions will also help avoid future disputes over your intentions with regard to end-of-life care.

Distribute copies of your health care directive

As a general rule, the more people who know of your health care directive, the better. You want anyone who will have a say in your medical care to have a copy they can refer to in case of an emergency. That means you should give copies to all of your doctors and any hospitals where you might receive treatment. If you have given someone health care power of attorney then they should receive a copy as well as your family members. Finally, it is generally recommended that you keep a copy of your health care directive with your other estate planning documents.

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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Frequently asked questions about Michigan health care directives

A health care directive is a key element to any estate plan because it advises your loved ones on your wishes with respect to end-of-life medical care. Even if you have made it clear to your family that you would like to cease medical treatment to stop if you are terminally ill and unresponsive, actually asking that care be withheld can be stressful and upsetting to your loved ones. With a health care directive they can be spared from making those difficult decisions.

A Michigan health care directive can also avoid disputes between your family members as to how you would want to be treated if you were terminally ill and unresponsive. These disputes can create rifts and animosity between family members and can sometimes end up being decided by a court.

A health care directive is a document which specifies the medical treatment you would like to receive should you be terminally ill or rendered permanently unable to communicate. Put another way, a health care directive explains which treatments you would like to receive or have withheld when you are receiving end-of-life care.

Health care directives are sometimes called “medical directives”, “living wills”, or “advanced care directives.” They provide guidance and comfort to your family when they are making end-of-life choices on your behalf.

Health care procedures covered by most health care directives include:

  • CPR
  • Breathing tubes or ventilators
  • Feeding tubes
  • Palliative care that limits treatments to those which will make you comfortable
  • Donating organs, tissue, and your body

A living will, also known as a health care directive, serves a different purpose than your last will and testament. Your will tells your survivors how you would like your property to be distributed after you die and how loved ones should be cared for.

A health care directive takes effect while you are still alive and provides your family and doctors with guidance on how you would like to be cared for if you are terminally ill and unable to communicate.

While most states have enacted statutes which specifically allow for health care directives, Michigan is not one of them. That means that there is no state law requirement that your family or doctors follow the terms of your health care directive. However, several state court decisions have addressed the issue and found the terms of a health care directive should be followed.

If you give someone durable health care power of attorney, you are empowering them to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. This includes situations where you have been temporarily incapacitated or rendered permanently unconscious.

Unlike health care directives, Michigan has state laws that cover health care power of attorney and their decisions are legally binding. Those laws stipulate you must understand that you are granting someone the power to make medical decisions on your behalf and that the person is at least 18 years old.

There are no legal requirements for creating a health care directive that are laid out in Michigan state law. You are free to draft your own or use a service such as FindLaw to create one for you.

However, FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you have a complicated medical or family situation, you may want to consult a local attorney to be sure that the document is drafted to avoid disputes and legal challenges.

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