Tennessee Health Care Directives and Living Wills From the Comfort of Home
Working with experienced attorneys, FindLaw has created Tennessee health care directive and living will forms you can complete quickly and easily. With FindLaw’s step-by-step process, you can get your customized, attorney-approved health care directive and living will in under an hour without needing to leave home.
Reliable Tennessee Health Care Directive and Living Wills, Fast
If you ever become terminally ill, you may become unable to make your own medical decisions. Without a health care directive and living will, your loved ones and doctors may make choices for you that you would not have wanted. With a health care directive and living will, your wishes will be known regarding the provision or withdrawal of medical procedures that prolong the natural dying process. Although this can be unpleasant to consider, a proper health care directive and living will ensures you do not receive treatments that you do not want and spares your loved ones from making these difficult choices.
Tennessee Health Care Directives and Living Wills To Fit 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’s Next To Make My Tennessee Health Care Directive and Living Will Valid?
Follow these steps: See full process
Make decisions on future health care issues.
A health care directive and living will is a type of advance health care directive (“advance directive“) you can use to make health care decisions in advance of a terminal medical condition. In your health care directive and living will, you can give detailed instructions on whether you would accept or refuse certain life-sustaining procedures in the event of a terminal condition. These treatments include artificial hydration and nutrition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the application of breathing machines, and any other procedures you feel strongly about.
It can be difficult to make decisions on these types of treatments in advance. But it can give you peace of mind knowing you have made your own choices on these matters. By having a health care directive and living will in place, you may even be able to spare your loved ones from arguing over your future treatments. If you have trouble with the choices in your health care directive and living will, you should consider discussing them with a trusted doctor or your loved ones.
Choose a health care agent.
Under title 34 of the Tennessee statutes, you have the option of selecting someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable. This person is commonly known as a health care agent. The document you use to name a health care agent is called a durable power of attorney for health care. This is another type of advance directive in addition to a health care directive and living will.
You are under no obligation to name a health care agent, but you may want to. If you have a health care agent, you will know that you have a trusted person ready to advocate for your wishes if you become unable. Your health care agent will be able to make medical decisions for you that are not covered by your health care directive and living will. You should select a health care agent who you trust to make good decisions on your medical treatment.
Note that you may not choose any of the following individuals as a health care agent in Tennessee:
- Your health care provider or one of their employees
- The operator of your health care institution or their employees
- Any health care provider or their employee who later provides you with medical treatment
Due to these restrictions, you need to avoid choosing a health care agent who is involved with your medical treatment or who could become your future health care provider.
Before making a final decision on a health care agent, you should make sure that this person understands your health care wishes and will be able to carry them out. You should discuss this duty with them to make sure that they are willing and able to take on this important responsibility.
Sign your health care directive and living will.
To make your health care directive and living will a legally valid document, you need to sign and date it. The signature requirements are spelled out in detail in the Tennessee Right to Natural Death Act. It states that you must sign your health care directive and living will in front of either a notary public or two competent adult witnesses. Your witnesses must also sign the document.
If you gather witnesses for your health care directive and living will, you should be aware that your health care agent cannot act as a witness. Further, at least one of your witnesses must be someone who is not related to you and who does not stand to inherit from you. Due to these restrictions, you may find it easier to notarize your living will than to gather witnesses.
Distribute your health care directive and living will.
After you have signed your health care directive and living will, you need to make sure that it gets to the right people. If you chose a health care agent through a durable power of attorney for health care, you should give them a copy. This will help them to understand and advocate for your treatment wishes.
Next, make sure to give your advance directives to your health care providers. They will not be able to act on your wishes if they are unaware of them.
Your loved ones should also receive a copy in case they need to accompany you during an emergency situation. It’s a good idea to store a copy of your health care directive and living will in a safe location that a trusted loved one can access if needed.
Update your advance directives.
After completing your advance directives, you should review them from time to time. A good policy is to look over your health care directive and living will at least every few years. If you go through any major life events, you may want to change your advance directives sooner. The type of life situations that may make you rethink your wishes could include:
- A new diagnosis
- An interstate move
- Advances in medical technology
If you have gone through a divorce, you may want to choose a new health care agent to replace your former spouse. In the case of an interstate move, it’s a good idea to review your health care directive and living will to make sure that it complies with the laws of Tennessee. Rest assured that you can make unlimited updates to your health care directive and living will for a year after purchase using FindLaw.
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 Tennessee healthcare directive & living will? It’s free to start.Create My Form
Tennessee Health Care Directive and Living Will FAQs
No. A last will and testament (a “will”) and a living will have confusingly similar names, but they are very different legal documents.
A will is the main estate planning document. You can use a will to decide who receives your property after your death. If you have minor children, you can name guardians for them through your will. However, you cannot use a will to make choices on future medical treatments.
A living will is a type of advance directive. You can use a living will to make your wishes known on medical treatments that only serve to prolong natural death. This includes life support machines, ventilators, and many other treatments. If you want to make your own decisions on future medical care issues, you need to sign a living will that reflects your wishes. FindLaw calls this document a “health care directive and living will.”
A good estate plan can contain both a will and a living will. Your health care directive and living will covers future medical issues and your will provides for the distribution of your assets after your death.
To make your health care directive and living will legally valid, you must meet certain basic requirements:
- It must be in writing.
- You must sign and date the document.
- You must be a competent adult. This means that you are able to understand your health care options and the consequences of health care decisions.
- You must notarize your health care directive and living will or gather two competent adults to witness your signature. The witnesses should also sign.
You should be aware that there are restrictions under Tennessee law on who may act as a witness to your signature. You may not choose your health care agent as a witness. Further, at least one of your witnesses must be someone who is not related to you and does not stand to inherit from you. Because of these restrictions, you may find it easier to notarize your document than to gather witnesses.
Yes, your out-of-state health care directive and living will is valid if it was properly executed in the other state or is valid under Tennessee laws.
Although an out-of-state health care directive and living will is valid in Tennessee, you should consider updating your estate plan (including your advance directives) when you move. This will help ensure your health care directive and living will is up to date, reflects your current wishes, and complies with Tennessee law. You can create a new Tennessee health care directive and living will with FindLaw for $35, and the process takes less than an hour.
Your health care directive and living will is a binding legal document. Your medical staff has a duty to follow it, even if that means transferring you to another health care provider. Tennessee statutes provide a procedure for health care providers to follow in case they are unwilling to carry out the wishes in your health care directive and living will. They must notify you, your next of kin, or your legal guardian that they refuse to comply with your expressed wishes. They then must give the option of transferring you to another physician who is willing to comply with your instructions.
If your doctor or other health care professionals do not follow the above procedure, they will be risking civil liability and disciplinary action. They could even lose their medical licenses as a result.
You have the right to change your mind about your health care directive and living will any time you choose. Your mental state or capacity does not have any impact on your ability to revoke. Under Tennessee law, you can revoke your health care directive and living will in two ways.
- One option is to verbally state your intention to revoke to your attending physician. It’s the physician’s responsibility to make your revocation a part of your medical record.
- The other option is to create a signed and dated written revocation. If possible, you should go with this option rather than making a verbal revocation. The advantage of a written revocation is that it provides your family and medical professionals with a clear record of your medical preferences.
With FindLaw, you can create a written revocation through a new health care directive and living will that revokes prior ones. The guided process is quick and easy, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to complete it.
Whenever you create a new health care directive and living will or revoke an old one, you should be sure to let the important people in your life know about it. If you named a health care agent, you should give them a copy of the new document. You should be sure to give one to your health care team and your family too. This will help to keep them updated on your most current wishes for health care.
Complex Family Situation? Need Additional Guidance?
Contact a local estate planning attorney.
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