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New Jersey advance health care directive template

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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New Jersey 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
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Reliable, attorney-approved New Jersey health care directives

In the event that you ever become seriously ill or injured, you may be unable to make your own treatment decisions. If you do not have a health care directive in place, your loved ones and doctors may then make medical choices on your behalf that you would not have wanted. To avoid this, you can create a health care directive that spells out your treatment wishes. With a health care directive, you can make your own choices on such issues as life support, artificial hydration, artificial nutrition, and any other medical issues you feel strongly about.

View, download, and save a free New Jersey Advance Health Care Directive Template in PDF on this page.


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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This free guide will help you:

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  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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

Validate your health care directive by following these steps:

Make decisions on potential health care issues

A health care directive is a type of advance health care directive (“advance directive“). You (the “declarant”) can use your health care directive to request or refuse certain future treatments. Your health care providers will then look to your health care directive for guidance when administering treatments.

These treatments include procedures such as artificial hydration and nutrition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, artificial respiration, and more. You also need to consider whether you would request or refuse life-prolonging procedures that would only delay the natural dying process. If there are other medical procedures that you would find unacceptable, you should make this clear in your health care directive.

These issues can be unpleasant to consider. But it can give you peace of mind to know that you have made your choices clear in advance of medical incapacity. By creating a health care directive, you can potentially spare your loved ones from conflicts over your future medical treatments.

Choose your health care representative

In New Jersey, you have the option of naming a trusted person as your health care representative. This person would make health care decisions for you in case you become unable to. The document you would use to name your health care representative is called a durable power of attorney for health care. This is another type of advance directive, in addition to a health care directive.

You are under no obligation to name a health care representative, but you may want to. Having a health care representative means that you have a trusted person ready to advocate for your wishes in the event that you become unable to do so.

When selecting a health care representative, you should choose someone who knows you well and understands your health care wishes. Many people choose a spouse, adult child, sibling, or parent for this role. The person you choose should be capable of being assertive with your doctors and family to advocate for your choices. Another consideration is proximity. You should think about whether your representative will be available and capable of being at your side promptly at your time of need.

Under New Jersey’s Advance Directives for Health Care Act, there are certain limitations on your choice of health care representative. You may not choose an administrator, operator, or employee of a health care institution where you receive care. However, this restriction does not apply to anyone related to you by blood, marriage, adoption, or domestic partnership.

Before you commit to a health care representative, you should talk it over with them. You need to make sure they understand your wishes and are willing to take on this important responsibility.

Sign your document

According to New Jersey law, you must sign and date your health care directive. If you are unable to sign, you may direct someone to do so for you.

You must also fulfill the witnessing requirement. To do this, you have two options:

  • You may sign your advance directives in front of a notary public, attorney, or other individual who is licensed to take oaths; or
  • You may sign in front of two adult witnesses. They must then sign their names, confirming that you are signing voluntarily, and that you are of sound mind.

You should be aware that if you named a health care representative, this person may not be a witness to your health care directive.

Distribute your advance directives

After you have signed your advance directives, you need to make sure they get into the right hands. You should give copies to your health care representative, your physician, and your loved ones. It’s a good idea to store an extra copy in a safe place that a trusted loved one can access in case of an emergency situation.

Update your advance directives

You should review your advance directives from time to time to make sure that they continue to reflect your wishes. A good rule of thumb is to review them every few years at least. You may need to update them sooner if you have gone through major life changes. The type of circumstances that may make you reconsider your advance directives include:

  • A change in your medical condition
  • Advances in medical technology
  • An interstate move
  • A divorce

All of these situations could make you rethink your health care directive decisions or your choice of health care representative. In the case of a divorce, you may need to choose a new health care representative to replace your former spouse.

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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New Jersey health care directive frequently asked questions

Although wills and living wills have confusingly similar names, these legal documents have very different functions. A living will , also known as a health care directive, is a document you can use to make your own health care choices in advance. In your health care directive, you can spell out which medical procedures you would accept or refuse in the event that you lose the capacity to understand your options and make your own decisions.

last will and testament (a “will”) is a key estate planning document. Through a will, you can provide for the distribution of your assets. If you have minor children, you can name trusted guardians for them in your will. But you cannot use a will to make medical decisions. To make health care choices in advance of medical incapacity, you need to sign a health care directive.

Yes, your out-of-state or foreign advance directives are valid in New Jersey if they comply with that state or country’s laws, or with New Jersey’s laws. However, the advance directives must not be contrary to New Jersey’s public policy.

If you have permanently relocated to New Jersey, it’s a good time to update your advance directives. This will ensure that they agree with New Jersey public policy, and that they reflect your current wishes.

To make your New Jersey health care directive a valid legal document, you must fulfill certain basic conditions:

  • You must be an adult with the mental capacity to execute a health care directive.
  • You must sign and date the document or direct someone to do so for you.
  • Your health care directive must be witnessed.

To satisfy the witnessing requirement, you have a couple of options. You can sign the document in front of a notary public, an attorney, or other individual authorized to take oaths. Alternatively, you can gather two adult witnesses who must sign your health care directive to confirm that you are signing voluntarily and that you are of sound mind.

If you choose to gather witnesses, you should be aware that you may not use your health care representative as a witness.

According to New Jersey’s health care statutes, a health care directive only becomes effective if your attending physician concludes that you cannot give informed consent on a certain health care decision. The physician must then put this determination into writing and enter it into your medical record. Another physician must then confirm this determination in writing. The exception to this would be if the incapacity is obvious, and the physician and health care representative both agree about that.

Of course, your health care professionals cannot honor the terms of your health care directive if they are not in possession of it. If you are hospitalized, you should make sure that your attending physician or health care institution has a copy of your health care directive at hand.

New Jersey law contains special provisions regarding the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatments. Under these rules, your health care providers can legally withhold life-sustaining procedures under certain defined medical conditions. They may withhold such procedures according to the instructions in your advance directives when one of the following is true:

  • The life-sustaining procedure is experimental and unproven, not effective, or only prolongs the natural dying process
  • Your attending physician and another qualified doctor determine that there is a terminal condition or permanent unconsciousness
  • You have a serious, irreversible illness and, due to this condition, the life-prolonging treatment would be more harmful than helpful

With these rules in mind, it is clear that the provisions in your health care directive regarding end-of-life treatment only become operative in the event of severe illness or injury with little hope of recovery.

Under New Jersey health care laws, you can change your advance directives (including your health care directives) by creating new ones. You should use the same signing and witnessing formalities as you used for your original documents.

There are a couple of ways to revoke your advance directives in the state of New Jersey. You can perform a revocation by:

  • Notifying your health care representative, nurse, physician, a witness, or another physician of your intention to revoke. This notification can be verbal, written, or otherwise communicates your intention to revoke.
  • Executing a new advance directive that revokes the prior one. You can create a new health care directive with FindLaw from home, and it only takes about half an hour.

Any time you change or revoke your advance directives, you should be sure to inform the right people about the changes. You should tell your health care providers immediately if you revoke your health care directive. They should be well informed of your current medical care wishes.

It’s important that you provide your health care representative with a copy of your modified documents too. If you have substantially changed your treatment preferences, they will need to know about this change so that they can act on it.

Finally, don’t forget to let your loved ones know about your modified advance directives. By keeping the right people informed, you can rest easy knowing that you have made your medical choices known.

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