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Quickly create your Wisconsin 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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Wisconsin 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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Attorney-approved Wisconsin health care directives

If you are ever suffering from a serious end-of-life medical condition, you may become unable to express your own choices on health care. Your doctors may then administer treatments for you that you would not have wanted. To avoid this, you can create a health care directive. In this document, you can state whether you would prefer to withhold the use of feeding tubes and other procedures that only prolong natural death. Although this is unpleasant to think about, it can give you peace of mind to know that you have made your own medical choices.

 

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Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

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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What next steps are needed to make my Wisconsin health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions on your medical treatment options

A health care directive is a type of advance care directive (“advance directive“) that you can use to make medical choices in advance. If you have any feelings about medical procedures like feeding tubes and other life-sustaining procedures that only prolong natural death, you can make your wishes clear through your health care directive. In the event that you are ever suffering from a terminal condition or a permanent vegetative state, your health care providers will then follow the instructions you laid out in your advance directives.

Although it can be tempting to avoid thinking about this topic, it is good to make your choices while you are still able to. This empowers you to make your own decisions on end-of-life care and may even prevent conflict among loved ones.

Choose a health care agent

In Wisconsin, you have the option of choosing someone to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to. This person is known as a health care agent. You may hear people referring to them as a health care proxy too. If you would like to name a health care agent, you can do so through a legal document called a health care power of attorney (a “POA”). This is another type of advance directive. Wisconsin’s name for this particular document is the “Wisconsin Power of Attorney for Health Care.”

Your agent will have broad authority over your health care if you become medically incapacitated. Their duty is to carry out the terms of your advance directives. But if issues arise that are not covered by your advance directives, they should act in your best interest. They should also consider their knowledge of your preferences and values when making your health care decisions.

According to chapter 155 of the Wisconsin statutes, your agent will be able to:

  • Consent to medical procedures for you
  • Sign waivers or liability releases on your behalf
  • Admit you to a nursing home under certain circumstances
  • Consent to the removal of a feeding tube

Note that the agent can only consent to remove feeding tubes if you gave them this authority in the POA document. Further, the removal is only permitted if it will not cause increased pain or discomfort.

Because they will have extensive powers over your health care, you should select an agent who is familiar with your health care wishes and who agrees with your choices. At the very least, they should not have strong disagreements on your selections. Further, you should choose someone you trust, and who is capable of being assertive with your doctors and loved ones to advocate for your wishes. Many people choose a close loved one like a spouse, sibling, parent, or adult child for this important role.

Before committing to an agent, you should discuss this responsibility with them. You will need to make sure that they are willing and able to direct your medical care if needed. It is also a good idea to choose an alternative agent if your primary one is unable or unwilling to carry out their duties.

Sign your health care directive

Under chapter 154 of Wisconsin’s statutes, you must sign your health care directive or direct someone to sign it on your behalf. There must be two witnesses present at the time of signing who must sign their names to your document, too.

The following individuals may not witness your signature:

  • Your relatives
  • Anyone who could inherit from you
  • Your health care provider or their employee
  • An employee of a health care facility where you are a patient
  • Anyone who is financially responsible for your health care

These limitations may eliminate many people in your inner circle from witnessing your health care directive. You may need to reach out to friends, neighbors, or other acquaintances to find appropriate witnesses.

Distribute your advance directives

Once you have signed your documents, you need to make sure they get into the hands of the people who are involved in your health care. Your health care agent, close loved ones, and medical providers should all receive copies so they can carry out your wishes if the need arises.

You may wish to formally file your advance directives as well. Under Wisconsin law, you have the option of filing your advance directive with the register in probate for your county of residence. Your health care provider will then be able to request your advance directives from the court if they need them.

You do not have to file your advance directive, but it might be a good backup strategy. This way, if your loved ones or agent misplace their copies, your doctors can still get access to your medical instructions. To learn more about this process, you should contact your county’s probate court.

Update your advance directives

After you have completed your advance directives, you should review them every few years at least. This will help to ensure that they continue to reflect your health care wishes. You may need to revise your advance directives even sooner if you go through any major life changes.

For instance, if you go through a divorce or a substantial conflict with your health care agent, you will probably want to name a different agent. This will require a new POA document. The same might be true if you go through a long-distance relocation that moves you far away from your agent. Advances in medical technology or even a simple change of heart could cause you to rethink your choices in your health care directive.

If you create your health care directive with FindLaw, you can make unlimited updates to it for any reason for a full year after purchase. There is no additional charge for these revisions.

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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Create my health care directive

Commonly asked questions about Wisconsin health care directives

To create a valid Wisconsin health care directive, you must fulfill certain basic legal requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind
  • You must sign your document or direct someone to sign it for you
  • There must be two witnesses present at the time of signature

There are several restrictions on your choice of witnesses. Generally, your relatives, anyone involved in your health care, and anyone who could financially benefit from your death may not witness your health care directive. These restrictions are covered in more detail in the steps above.

You can rest assured that when you purchase a health care directive with FindLaw, it’s attorney-approved and tailored to Wisconsin’s laws. Once your document is properly signed and witnessed, it is legally enforceable.

Yes. A health care directive from another state is valid in Wisconsin if you executed it in accordance with the other state’s laws. However, it must also be consistent with Wisconsin’s laws.

If you have recently moved to Wisconsin, it may be a good time to update your estate plan (including your advance directives). When you create a health care directive that’s tailored to Wisconsin law, you can relax knowing that it will not contain provisions that are unlawful in your new state of residence. You can get an attorney-approved Wisconsin health care directive through FindLaw’s easy step-by-step process in under an hour.

No. It is completely up to you whether you would like to create any advance directives. Under Wisconsin law, your insurance company or health care provider cannot require advance directives as a condition of care or coverage.

Although you are under no obligation to create advance directives, you may want to. Your health care directive allows you to make medical decisions in advance of an end-of-life medical scenario. In addition, you can choose a health care agent to carry out these instructions. This person will also be able to make health care decisions on issues that are not specifically covered by your health care directive.

It can be reassuring to know that your end-of-life treatment wishes are known, and that you have named a trusted person to advocate for your wishes. If you would like to create a health care directive, you can do so with FindLaw’s easy, guided process in less than an hour.

The instructions in your health care directive only become operative if you are suffering from a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative state. Your attending health care professional and another physician must make this diagnosis in writing after personally examining you.

Further, your medical professionals cannot follow your instructions to withhold medical treatments if doing so would cause you any additional pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated through medications.

To summarize, the instructions in a Wisconsin health care directive only become effective in the event of a serious, end-of-life medical condition.

You have the right to change your mind on your health care selections at any time you are capable of doing so. If you would like to completely revoke your health care directive, you can do so through several methods under Wisconsin law:

  • Burn, cancel, obliterate, tear up, or otherwise physically destroy your health care directive or direct someone to do so on your behalf
  • Sign and date a written revocation
  • Make a verbal expression of your desire to revoke your health care directive
  • Create a new health care directive

If you revoke your health care directive orally, this will only take effect after you or someone else notifies your attending health care professional of your revocation.

Although a verbal revocation is acceptable in Wisconsin, it’s better to revoke your document in writing. You can create a new health care directive that revokes your prior ones with FindLaw’s easy, step-by-step process. Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of home.

After revoking your health care directive or creating a new one, you should inform your health care provider of the changes immediately. Your health care agent and loved ones should be aware of the changes and should receive copies of any new documents too.

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