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Make Your Health Care Wishes Known in Minutes
Licensed attorneys, working with FindLaw, have created a health care directive and living will form that you can complete from the comfort of home. With FindLaw’s easy guided process, you can make your treatment wishes clear in about 30 minutes.
Start your form for free. If you’re not satisfied, there’s no obligation to buy.
Flexible Options for Your Lifestyle
Make your health care wishes known so you stay in control of your treatment. Our do-it-yourself option makes the process inexpensive and easy.
Health Care Directive & Living Will
For One Person
A do-it-yourself health care directive & living will that’s easy to personalize.
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Estate Planning Package
For One Person
All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
Do I Need a Health Care Directive & Living Will?
In the event that you are ever terminally ill or injured, you could become unable to communicate your health care wishes. A living will allows you to express your treatment decisions in advance. With a health care directive, you can also name someone to make these decisions on your behalf.
Own Your Treatment Decisions
When you create a living will, YOU decide what health care treatments you will receive or refuse.
Appoint a Health Care Agent
Take control by choosing someone you trust to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Take the Burdan Off Your Family
Make your end-of-life health care decisions now so your family doesn’t have to decide later.
How To Create Your Health Care Directive & Living Will
Create your health care directive & living will in under an hour.
Answer Some Questions
Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy and which medical treatments you would request or refuse.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
Complete Your Document
Once you answer the relevant questions, we do the hard part and create your unique document.
Print, Sign & Make It Legal
Print and sign your document according to the instructions. Give a copy to your doctors and agent/proxy.
FAQs About Health Care Directives and Living Wills
State laws on health care directives and living wills vary significantly. Learn more by clicking on your state below:
- District of Columbia
- Missouri – Coming Soon
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina – Coming Soon
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington – Coming Soon
- West Virginia
A health care directive is the part of the document where you can nominate an agent to make decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated. The living will part of the document is where you express your choices for medical care in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to give informed consent to treatment.
If you have strong opinions on life support in the event of a terminal condition, you can express your end-of-life care wishes in your health care directive and living will. Depending on your state, you may be able to use a living will to communicate your wishes on organ donation, pain treatment, specific medical procedures, and more. Although these are difficult decisions, it can be reassuring to know that you have a plan for all medical possibilities.
For many people, the main purpose of a health care directive and living will is to express their wishes on life-prolonging treatments. They would choose a natural death rather than allowing health care professionals to administer ventilation, feeding tubes, and intravenous fluids.
In your health care directive and living will, you can make decisions on treatments such as:
- Short term versus long term treatments. You may opt for short-term life-sustaining treatment if you have a chance for recovery. For example, you may consent to dialysis or a respirator after surgery, but not in a persistent vegetative state.
- Pain treatment. You can specify your wishes for comfort care and pain medication.
- Tube feeding or artificial hydration.If you would prefer not to receive artificial nutrition or intravenous fluids, you can make this clear.
- CPR. Healthcare providers use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart or breathing stops. CPR can include mouth-to-mouth, electric shock, and more. With a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, you can instruct doctors and paramedics to avoid CPR. You typically need to ask your doctor to execute a DNR for you. You can include this as a supplement to your health care directive and living will.
It is a good idea for everyone to have a health care directive & living will. If you would like to make your own treatment choices in case of an incapacitating medical condition, you need a health care directive and living will.
Additionally, your loved ones may struggle deciding which procedures to consent to on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This could cause hardship and stress. You may be able to prevent this by signing a health care directive and living will.
One of the main reasons people create health care directives and living wills is to make their end-of-life treatment wishes clear. If you would refuse heroic life-prolonging treatments in the event of a terminal condition, you can state this in your health care directive and living will. However, this document isn’t only for end-of-life issues. You can also use it to communicate your pain treatment wishes and make other specific requests.
The laws on health care directives and living wills vary somewhat from state to state. Click on your state above to learn more.
States generally require the following to make your document valid:
- You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to execute a health care directive and living will.
- You must sign the health care directive and living will or instruct someone to sign it for you. If someone signs for you, this person usually cannot act as a witness.
- In some states, your health care directive and living will must be notarized. In other states, you must gather two adults to witness your signature and sign their names to your health care directive and living will.
Like other legal documents, health care directives and living wills must comply with your state’s laws. When you purchase a health care directive and living will with FindLaw, you can relax knowing that experienced attorneys have tailored the document to meet your state’s requirements. Further, you will receive signing instructions that are specific to your state.
The language that people use for these documents can get a little confusing. To simplify things, you can think of the term “health care directive” as a category that includes both health care directives and living wills.
A living will is a document you can use to put your treatment choices into writing in case you are ever medically incapacitated and unable to communicate your health care preferences.
A medical power of attorney (also known as a health care power of attorney or health care proxy) is another name for a health care directive. With this document, you can appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person is usually called a health care agent or health care proxy.
Although a living will and a will have confusingly similar names, they are very different legal documents.
A last will and testament (a “will”) is the cornerstone of a good estate plan. You use your will to decide who will receive your property after you die. You cannot use your will to make medical choices.
A health care directive and living will is another important document in your estate plan. In it, you can express your health care preferences in the event of medical incapacity. You cannot use your health care directive and living will to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death.
Unless you have a complicated situation, you can most likely complete your health care directive and living will without meeting a lawyer. After you complete FindLaw’s guided process, which was developed by attorneys, you will receive a health care directive and living will that is personalized to your state’s laws and your needs.
FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. In certain complex situations, you may need to seek the advice of an attorney. For example, if your family strongly disagrees with your medical choices, this may cause conflict or confusion.
In some circumstances, a family member could even challenge the validity of your health care directive and living will. If this could apply to you, or if there are other complications, it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney. This can help to reduce the likelihood that your family members challenge your health care directive and living will in court.
Although it’s possible to find health care directives and living will forms for free, these free forms come with risks. They may not be comprehensive, and they may not be valid for all situations.
Hiring an attorney usually costs between $200 to $400 per hour, depending on their location and experience.
When you purchase your health care directive and living will with FindLaw, you will move through a guided process that will help you consider all possibilities and make informed decisions on potential treatments. You will then receive a customized health care directive and living will for only $35. You can rest assured that licensed attorneys have developed FindLaw’s health care directive and living will forms to follow your state’s laws.
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