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Quickly create your New Mexico 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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Fast, easy, reliable New Mexico health care directives

If you ever become terminally ill, you may become unable to make your own medical treatment decisions. Your family members and health care team may then choose treatments for you that you would not have wanted. By creating a health care directive (also known as an “optional advance health care directive” in New Mexico) you can make medical choices in advance of an incapacitating condition. Although this is unpleasant to consider, it may give you peace of mind to know that your treatment wishes will be honored even if you cannot speak for yourself.

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Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

New Mexico 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

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 Mexico health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions on potential health care issues

A health care directive, also known as a living will, is a type of advanced health care directive (“advance directive“). You can use it to make your own choices about whether you would request or refuse life-sustaining procedures that would only serve to prolong the natural dying process. These procedures include artificial nutrition and artificial hydration (intravenous fluids and feeding tubes). To complete your health care directive, you should decide whether you would prefer to accept these procedures to prolong your life, or whether you would prefer to allow the natural dying process to take place. You should also consider pain relief options.

These are difficult decisions that can be unpleasant to consider. But by making your choices in advance, you can rest assured that your doctors will have clear instructions on your health care wishes. This can even help to prevent strife among loved ones who may have conflicting opinions on your future treatment.

Choose your health care agent

According to the New Mexico Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act, you have the option of choosing a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you become unable to do so. This person is commonly known as a health care agent. You may also hear people refer to this person as a health care proxy.

The legal document you use to designate a health care agent is a durable power of attorney for health care (a “POA”). However, your health care agent does not have to be an attorney. They should be someone you trust to carry out the terms of your health care directive and to make good medical choices for you.

When selecting a health care agent, you should also consider whether this person will be capable of being assertive with your family members and medical staff to advocate for your health care wishes. You may want to consider logistical issues such as proximity too. Think about whether this person will be able to arrive promptly at your side if you undergo a medical emergency. Many people choose a close loved one like a parent, sibling, or adult child for this role.

However, there are some legal restrictions on your choice of health care agent. You may not choose anyone who owns, operates, or works at a health care institution where you receive care. The exception to this would be if the individual is related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Sign your health care directive

Although New Mexico law does not provide specific requirements on a health care directive’s signature, you should sign your document if you are able to. If possible, you should sign it in front of a notary public or two adult witnesses. The notary or witnesses should then sign their names to the document. Properly signing your document can help to demonstrate the legitimacy of your health care directive in case of future challenges.

Distribute your health care directive

After signing your health care directive, you need to make sure it gets into the right hands. If you chose a health care agent, you should make sure they have a copy to help them better understand your medical choices. Next, you should give your health care directive to your medical providers so that they can enter it into your medical record. Finally, you should give your advance directives to your close loved ones in case they ever accompany you during an emergency situation.

Update your advance directives

A good rule of thumb is to review your advance directives at least every few years. This will help you to verify that your treatment choices still reflect your preferences. If you have gone through a major life event, you may wish to review your estate plan (including your advance directives) sooner. For example, any of the following circumstances or life situations may cause you to rethink your choices:

  • A change in medical diagnosis
  • A divorce or conflict with your health care agent
  • Relocating from out of state
  • Advances in medical technology

In the event that you go through a divorce, you may need to change your health care agent. If your former spouse was your agent, a divorce will legally revoke this designation. So, you may wish to name someone else you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. To accomplish this, you would need to create a new durable power of attorney for health care.

If you moved to a new state, you may need to review your advance directives to check their validity. State laws are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to create new advance directives that are tailored to your new state of residence. Just remember to provide your health care agent, medical professionals, and loved ones with updated copies of your 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 New Mexico health care directives

No. Although a living will and a will have confusingly similar names, they are very different legal documents.

living will, also referred to as a health care directive, is a type of advance directive. You can use it to describe your medical care preferences. Your health care professionals will follow the instructions in your health care directive if you become incapacitated and unable to make informed decisions on your health care.

If you would like to decide who will receive your assets after your death, you need a last will and testament (a “will”). A will is the foundation of a good estate plan. If you have minor children, you can also name guardians for them in your will. However, you cannot use a will to make health care decisions. If you would like to make medical choices in advance of incapacity, you should sign a health care directive.

A good estate plan can contain both a will and a health care directive. Your will provides for the distribution of your assets after your death, and your health care directive spells out your medical treatment decisions.

No, you do not have to create a health care directive or a POA. It is your choice whether you would like to sign these documents. Your medical providers cannot require you to sign advance directives as a precondition of treatment.

However, you may want to create advance directives. You can have either a health care directive, a POA, or both. With a health care directive, you can make choices on whether you would request or refuse specific medical treatments in the event that you become medically incapacitated. With a POA, you can choose a health care agent to carry out your wishes and make treatment choices for you. Completing these legal documents is completely voluntary. But it may give you peace of mind knowing that you have a plan for possible future medical issues.

Yes, you will still receive pain management if you have a health care directive. You can give specific instructions in your health care directive regarding your comfort care wishes. If you do not wish to receive pain medicine that could hasten your death, you should talk to your health care agent about this and make it clear in your document.

Generally, yes. But New Mexico law permits medical providers to refuse to honor your advance directives for reasons of conscience, policy, or medical ineffectiveness.

If your practitioner or health care institution becomes unwilling to comply with your advance directives, they must notify you or your decision-maker of this fact. They must then make reasonable plans to transfer you to a health care provider who is willing to carry out the terms of your advance directives.

A divorce does not revoke the provisions in your health care directive. But if you named your former spouse as your health care agent, a divorce would revoke this provision. The exception to this would be if your advance directive or divorce decree says that the health care agent designation should survive divorce. In the event that you remarry your former spouse, their designation as your health care agent will be revived by law.

If you have gone through a divorce, it is probably a good time to review your estate plan (including your health care directive). You may need to choose a new health care agent to replace your former spouse. To do so, you need to create a new durable power of attorney for health care. In the case that you would prefer to keep your former spouse as your health care agent, you should create a new POA to make this clear.

You have the right to change your mind about your advance directives at any time. If you would like to completely revoke your health care directive, New Mexico law provides that you can do so in any manner of your choosing. You just need to clearly convey your intention to revoke. For example, you could perform a revocation by physically destroying your health care directive, or by creating a new writing that revokes your document.

A better way to revoke a health care directive is to create a new one that revokes previous health care directives. New Mexico law explicitly states that a health care directive that conflicts with a prior one revokes the conflicting provisions in the previous document.

If you named a health care agent, there are different requirements on revoking their designation. One option is to personally inform your supervising health care provider of your revocation. The other option is to sign a written record of your revocation. If you are unable to sign your written revocation, you can ask someone to sign it on your behalf. In that case, there must be two witnesses present, and they must sign the revocation in your presence and each other’s.

Any time you revoke an advance directive or create a new one, you should inform the important people in your life about the change. You should tell your health care agent, your health care providers, and your loved ones about the changes so that they are aware of your most current wishes.

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