The Simple Way to Create an Ohio Health Care Directive and Living Will
FindLaw’s easy-to-follow instructions guide you through the process of creating an Ohio health care directive and living will, ensuring your end-of-life wishes for medical care are followed if you are unable to communicate with your caregivers. FindLaw’s process allows you to quickly and inexpensively create a living will in the comfort of your own home.
Create an Ohio Health Care Directive and Living Will the Easy Way
If you don’t have a health care directive and living will and become incapacitated, doctors providing treatment will turn to your immediate family for necessary medical decisions. Even if your family members have a good idea of your wishes regarding life-sustaining care when you are terminally ill and unconscious, deciding these important matters during an incredibly difficult time can be a burden and may even lead to disputes. An Ohio health care directive and living will provides your family with clear guidance on your choices regarding end-of-life care, easing the burden on them and giving you peace of mind.
Ohio Health Care Directive and Living Will Options to Suit Your Needs
Health Care Directive & Living Will
For One Person
A do-it-yourself health care directive & living will that’s easy to personalize.
Estate Planning Package
For One Person
All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
How It Works
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.
What Steps Should I Take To Make My Ohio Health Care Directive and Living Will Valid?
Follow these steps: See full process
Choose when you would like your medical treatment to be limited or withdrawn.
Ohio’s health care directive and living will declaration only applies in situations where a person is suffering from a terminal condition or has been rendered permanently unconscious. Other situations should be addressed using a healthcare power of attorney. If you have both documents, a health care directive and living will takes precedence over the decisions made by someone with healthcare power of attorney.
Your health care directive and living will should document your wishes when it comes to life-sustaining treatment. Treatments that are often covered include:
- When CPR should be administered
- Mechanical ventilation if you can’t breathe on your own
- Taking foods and liquids through feeding tubes
- Whether infections should be treated with antibiotics or other medications
- How long you should receive dialysis if it is needed
- End-of-life care (palliative care) choices regarding things like pain management, invasive treatments, or wanting to die at home
- Whether you would like your organs, tissue, or body to be donated
Decide whether you want to give someone healthcare power of attorney.
Since Ohio law only lets a health care directive and living will dictate your medical care when you are dying or permanently unconscious, you must give someone healthcare power of attorney to address other medical situations when you are unable to make decisions on your own. The person who has healthcare power of attorney is sometimes known as your proxy or healthcare agent.
If you are incapacitated, a person with healthcare power of attorney can make the following choices on your behalf:
- What medical care you should receive
- The hospital or other facility where you will be treated
- The doctors and healthcare providers who will provide you with treatment
- Moving you to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or other long-term care facility
- Who will provide for your non-medical day-to-day needs, such as food and transportation
Remember, while healthcare power of attorney allows someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf, a health care directive and living will still takes precedence and ensures that nobody else will need to make difficult end-of-life decisions for you.
Choose someone to notify.
Your health care directive and living will may list people who should receive notice if a doctor has made the decision to withdraw life support. You may list more than one person, or nobody at all. When a doctor decides to stop any life-sustaining treatment, they must make reasonable efforts to contact the listed individuals using the contact information provided.
If you do not name anyone in your health care directive and living will, Ohio law requires that your doctor make a reasonable effort to notify people in the following order:
- Your guardian
- Your spouse
- Your adult children
- Your parents
- Your adult siblings
Sign your health care directive and living will.
For an Ohio health care directive and living will declaration to be legally valid it must be signed and witnessed. Your document may be witnessed in one of two ways:
- Signing the document using a notary public to attest to your signature.
- Signing the document—or having someone sign it at your behest—in front of two adult witnesses. The witnesses can’t be related to you, your doctor, or an administrator at a facility where you are receiving care.
Distribute copies of your living will.
Completing a health care directive and living will does you little good if no one knows about it and they don’t know where to find it. You should make several copies and give them to:
- Your doctor so it can be placed in your medical records
- Any hospital where you receive treatment, even if it is for minor surgical procedures
- A close family member, friend, or someone with healthcare power of attorney
You should also keep a copy with your other personal papers, such as your will and important financial 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
Ready to get started on Your Ohio healthcare directive & living will? It’s free to start.Create My Form
Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care Directives and Living Wills
A health care directive and living will is an important part of any estate plan because it guides your loved ones as to your preferences for medical treatment. This means your family will not need to guess how you would like to be treated or rely on their memories of conversations about end-of-life treatment that may have happened years ago.
An Ohio health care directive and living will provides your loved ones with certainty about your wishes so that they know that you are receiving the treatment you want. A health care directive and living will can avoid disputes among family members who have differing views as to how you would like to be treated. These disputes can create rifts and animosity among family members and sometimes result in litigation.
Health care directives and living wills generally provide medical guidance to physicians, healthcare facilities, and family members when a patient is incapacitated, incompetent, or unable to communicate. However, Ohio law only allows for a health care directive and living will to govern your treatment in cases where someone is terminally ill or permanently unconscious. If you would like someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf in other situations, consider giving someone medical power of attorney.
Health care directives and living wills in Ohio usually allow you to address whether you would like to receive the following if you are terminally ill and unable to communicate:
- Any treatment or medical care to prolong your life
- CPR (often called a “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order”)
- Mechanical assistance with breathing
- Artificially supplied hydration or nutrition
- Comfort care to diminish pain or discomfort, sometimes known as “palliative care.”
The document can also state whether you would like to make any organ donations or leave your body to science.
A health care directive and living will serves a different purpose than your last will and testament. Your will tells your survivors how you would like your property to be distributed after you die and how loved ones should be cared for. An Ohio health care directive and living will takes effect while you are still alive and provides guidance on how you would like to be cared for when you are terminally ill and unable to communicate.
State law allows any person in Ohio to create a health care directive and living will if they meet the following three criteria:
- At least 18 years old
- Of sound mind
- Free of undue influences
Under Ohio law undue influence is any “improper or wrongful constraint, machination, or urgency of persuasion” that forces someone to act in a manner they would not choose to have acted in a typical situation.
In Ohio, your health care directive and living will only goes into effect when you are terminally ill or permanently unresponsive. If you would like to give someone else the right to dictate your care before you are terminally ill or permanently unresponsive you must give someone healthcare power of attorney. For example, if you are unconscious from a car accident but doctors expect you to pull through, they will let someone with power of attorney dictate your care, but not your health care directive and living will. However, doctors will look to your health care directive and living will when deciding on your medical treatment if they believe you are not going to recover enough consciousness to state your wishes.
You will sometimes hear references to “durable” medical power of attorney, which expressly states that the person still has the right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. But in Ohio, all powers of attorney are durable, so anyone with power of attorney can make decisions on your care whether you are responsive or not.
You are not required to use a lawyer to create a health care directive and living will in Ohio. You can create one that follows Ohio law in a few easy steps using FindLaw.
FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you have a complicated personal situation and are concerned that your health care directive and living will is going to be challenged, it might be worth visiting a local attorney to get your questions answered.
Complex Family Situation? Need Additional Guidance?
Contact a local estate planning attorney.
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