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Quickly create your Mississippi 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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Mississippi health care directive options to suit your needs

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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Reliable Mississippi health care directives from home

In the event that you ever experience a terminal medical condition, you may become unable to communicate your treatment preferences to your medical staff. Your doctors and loved ones may not know which treatments to provide or withdraw on your behalf. With a health care directive, you can document your medical choices in advance of medical incapacity. This can potentially spare your loved ones from the uncertainty of making difficult health care 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 Mississippi health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions about your future medical care

A health care directive is a type of advance care directive (“advance directive“) that you can use to specify your treatment preferences on a variety of issues. You will need to state your preferences on such treatments as artificial hydration and nutrition, the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, as well as pain management. These decisions can be difficult to make, and unpleasant to consider. But it can give you peace of mind to know that you have made your choices known in advance. If you have any trouble deciding on these difficult medical issues, it may be helpful to discuss them with a trusted doctor or your loved ones.

Choose a health care agent

Under Mississippi’s Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act, you have the option of naming a health care agent. A health care agent is a trusted person you choose to make health care decisions for you. You can choose whether you would want them to be able to make these decisions immediately, or only in the event that you become unable to give informed consent. The legal document you use to make this decision is called a power of attorney for health care (a “POA”). This is another type of advance directive, in addition to a health care directive.

When choosing a health care agent, you should consider whether this person understands your treatment preferences and end-of-life decisions. Think about whether they would be willing to advocate for your choices to your medical staff and other family members. It’s also good to consider your health care agent’s proximity, and whether they will be able to be at your side within a reasonable time. Many people choose a loved one, like a spouse, adult child, or sibling for this role.

Before finalizing your choice of health care agent, you should talk to this person and make sure they consent to this responsibility. It’s a good idea to list alternate agents too, just in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to perform this task.

Sign your health care directive

To validate your health care directive, you should sign and date it in the presence of two adult witnesses or a notary public.

If your health care directive includes a power of attorney document, you must be careful to follow the signing requirements carefully. You must sign and date the document and you must fulfill the witnessing requirement. To meet the witnessing requirement, you can either:

  • Sign your document in front of two adult witnesses who must also sign; or
  • Sign in front of a notary public, who then certifies the document

If you choose the first option, the witnesses to your POA must make a legal declaration as part of their witnessing duties. In this declaration, they must state that you are of sound mind, that you signed in their presence, and that they are not your health care provider or an employee of your health care provider. Further, one of the witnesses must declare that they are not related to you and do not stand to inherit from you.

Although Mississippi law technically allows for oral health care directives, it is a better plan to properly sign your document. This will help to eliminate any doubt about your wishes and add legitimacy to the document. Further, it creates a record that your loved ones, your health care agent, and medical staff can reference. Due to the strict requirements on witnesses, you may find it easier to notarize your document than to gather witnesses.

Distribute your health care directive

After you sign your health care directive, you need to make sure that it gets into the right hands. You should provide your health care agent with a copy so that they understand your treatment preferences. Make sure to give another copy to your loved ones in case they ever accompany you on a medical emergency. Finally, you should give your health care directive to your health care providers so that they can enter it into your medical record.

Update your advance directives

It’s a good policy to review your estate plan (including your advance directives) from time to time. You should look over your advance directives every few years at least. You may need to update them sooner if you have gone through a significant change in your life. For instance, after a divorce, you may need to change your health care agent. If you have moved, you should update your health care directive to comply with state law. A new medical diagnosis or advancements in medical technology may also cause you to change your mind about your selections.

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 Mississippi health care directives

Despite the similarity in their names, a will and a living will, also known as a health care directive, are very different documents. However, both can be part of a comprehensive estate plan. If you would like to plan for the distribution of your assets after your death, you can do this through a will, but not through a health care directive.

last will and testament (a “will”) is the main document you use to plan for the distribution of your assets after your death. Through a will, you can decide who should receive your personal property and real estate after your death. If you have minor children, you can name guardians for them through your will.

A health care directive is not a will in the traditional sense. You can use a health care directive to make choices about your future medical treatment and make your health care wishes clear. Your doctors will look to this document for guidance if you ever become unable to give informed consent on your health care options. You cannot use a health care directive to name beneficiaries of your estate.

No, you are under no obligation to create a health care directive or name a health care agent. You have the right to make your own medical decisions during your lifetime. You can change or revoke your advance directives whenever you see fit.

Under Mississippi law, a health care provider may not require that you execute or revoke an advance directive as a condition of treatment. The choice is purely up to you. However, you may want to sign advance directives if you have strong feelings about end-of-life care. Another advantage of having advance directives is that it can prevent family turmoil if your loved ones have conflicting opinions on your treatment.

Your health care agent has broad powers to make any health care decisions you would be able to make for yourself. Your health care agent’s legal duty is to carry out the health care instructions in your advance directives. If circumstances come up that are not covered by your advance directives, the agent’s duty is to act according to your personal values and beliefs, as far as they understand them.

If you would like to give your health care agent unlimited authority to make medical decisions for you, they will be able to make all health care choices you would have been able to make if you were not incapacitated. This includes:

  • Choosing or rejecting health care professionals
  • Consenting to medical treatment
  • Consenting to surgical procedures, tests, and medications
  • Approving do-not-resuscitate orders
  • Approving the withholding of artificial nutrition and hydration

You have the power to limit your health care agent’s authority through the power of attorney document. You could limit their authority if there are certain medical decisions you would not want your health care agent to be able to make on your behalf.

You can also choose when you would like your agent’s authority to begin. One option is to give your health care agent immediate power over your medical decisions. Another option is to state that they will only have power over your health care in the event that you become medically incapacitated. This choice is up to you and will largely come down to your medical needs and personal preferences.

divorce does not revoke your entire health care directive. But if you named your former spouse as your health care agent, a divorce revokes this designation. The only exception to this would be if your advance directives clearly state that your POA should survive divorce.

If you create your health care directive through FindLaw, rest assured that you can update it for any reason (including divorce) for a full year after purchase.

You have the right to change or revoke the choices in your health care directive whenever you see fit. Under Mississippi law, you can revoke in any manner you choose that shows your intent. A good way of revoking your health care directive is to create a new one that revokes all prior documents. You can accomplish this by completing a new health care directive.

To revoke your designation of a health care agent, you must either sign a written document to that effect or inform your supervising health care provider of your revocation. Any time you change or revoke your advance directives, you should be sure to inform the right people. This would include your loved ones, your health care agent, and your medical providers.

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