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Quickly create your Montana 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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Montana 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 Montana health care directives from home

If you are ever hospitalized with an irreversible condition, your loved ones and health care providers may not be sure which medical treatments to provide and which to withhold on your behalf. With a health care directive, you can provide instructions to your medical providers that make your wishes on these issues clear. This can spare your loved ones from making difficult decisions for you and may help to prevent disagreements among your nearest and dearest.

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 Montana health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions about your medical care

A health care directive is a type of advance health care directive (or “advance directive”). It is a legal document that allows you to make treatment choices in advance, including whether you want to withdraw life-sustaining procedures. If you ever become terminally ill, your medical team would defer to your health care directive when deciding whether you would want treatment like tube feeding, artificial hydration, and ventilation. If you are unsure about your wishes regarding any medical procedure, it may be helpful to discuss it with your doctor and loved ones.

Choose your health care agent

According to Montana’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, you may choose a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself. Creating a health care power of attorney is another type of advance directive. A health care agent or health care proxy can make health care choices on your behalf. When choosing your health care agent, make sure to pick someone who understands your treatment preferences on various health care issues and is willing to take on this responsibility.

Sign your health care documents

To validate your advance directives, you must sign them or direct someone to sign them for you. You must do so in the presence of two witnesses who must then sign too.

Distribute and store your health care directive

Once you have signed your advance directives in the presence of two witnesses, you will need to make sure that the right people have copies. Most importantly, you should provide a copy to your health care agent (if you have one). Your loved ones should also have copies of your advance directives. You may want to consider storing your advance directives in the Montana End-of-life registry. This is a secure computer database that allows you and your health care providers to electronically access your advance directives at any time.

Update your advance directives

As a general rule of thumb, you should review and revise your advance directives every few years at least. You should also review your choices in the event that you go through any major changes in your life. If you receive a new diagnosis, experience a divorce, or simply have a change of heart, you may wish to make changes to your estate plan, including your advance directives. For example, if your former spouse was named as your health care agent, you may wish to change this appointment. Rest assured that if you create a health care directive through FindLaw, you can make unlimited changes for a 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
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Ready to start your Montana health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Montana health care directive frequently asked questions

Wills and living wills are both important estate planning terms, but they should not be confused. A last will and testament (a “will”) is the primary legal document of your estate plan. You can use a will to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death. This allows you to leave your real property and personal property to the individuals or entities of your choice. Further, you can name guardians for minor children in a will.

In contrast, a living will, also known as a health care directive, is a legal document that you use to describe your end-of-life treatment wishes to your medical providers. If you would prefer that your doctors withdraw life-sustaining medical care in the event of a terminal illness, you can make this clear in your health care directive.

You cannot use a will to specify your health care preferences. A will is only valid after your death. It cannot be used as a substitute for a health care directive. If you would like to create a document that provides instructions regarding your medical treatment, you can create a health care directive through FindLaw in about half an hour without needing to leave the comfort of home.

For a health care directive to be legally valid under Montana law, it must fulfill certain requirements:

  • Age: You must be age 18 or older
  • Signature: You must sign or direct someone to sign for you
  • Mental capacity: You must be of sound mind when you sign
  • Witnesses: There must be two witnesses present when you sign. Your witnesses should then sign the document.

If you ever become terminally ill and do not have valid advance directives, Montana statutes describe who can make decisions on your medical procedures. The following individuals would make medical decisions for you, in this order:

  1. Your spouse
  2. Your adult children
  3. Your parents
  4. Adult siblings
  5. The next closest relative

Creating a health care directive can remove the burden on your spouse and loved ones during a difficult time. Remember that these people will only make a health care decision for you if you receive a diagnosis of terminal illness and are incapable of giving informed consent for medical treatment. If you would rather make your own choices on your end-of-life medical treatments, you should create a health care directive that spells out your decisions. You can also name a health care agent through a power of attorney for health care. This allows you to empower one individual to make medical decisions on your behalf.

Yes, a health care directive from another state may be valid under Montana law. However, the out-of-state document must comply with the laws of that state and it must be substantially similar to Montana’s sample health care directive.

If you have just moved to Montana from another state, you should consider reviewing your estate plan, including your advance directives. Although your out-of-state advance directives might be valid in Montana, it’s a good idea to create a new health care directive that is tailored to Montana law.

Your advance directives do not go into effect simply because you endure a medical emergency or check into the hospital. An advance directive like a health care directive only becomes operative in a serious medical situation that meets all of the following conditions:

  • The attending physician or advanced practice nurse knows about the advance directives;
  • The attending physician or advanced practice nurse determines that you are in a terminal condition; and
  • You cannot make informed decisions about your treatment.

These requirements establish a high threshold under Montana law before a health care directive becomes effective. Even in the event of a severe illness or injury, a health care provider should not act on the instructions in a health care directive if there is a good chance of recovery.

You can revoke your health care directive in any manner according to Montana statutes. Your physical or mental condition has no impact on your ability to revoke. To perform a legal revocation, you may choose to physically destroy your health care directive, create a new signed writing that revokes it, or make a verbal statement of your revocation.

If possible, it is best to perform a revocation through a new writing. For example, an effective way to revoke a health care directive is to create a new one.

If you revoke your health care directive while hospitalized, it is important that you communicate this fact to your attending physician or advanced practice nurse. Once you or a witness has informed them of the revocation, they have a legal duty to note this in your medical record.

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