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Hawaii Durable Power of Attorney Laws

It’s hard enough to think about a family member or loved one becoming incapacitated due to an illness or an injury, much less plan for that possibility. But if someone else needs to make the decisions relating to his or her health care, treatment, and even whether to continue life support, it’s best to have a plan in place before it happens.

Under Hawaii law, that plan can be a legal arrangement called a “durable power of attorney” that allows those hard decisions to be made. This is a quick introduction to durable power of attorney laws in Hawaii.

Durable Power of Attorney Statutes

In some cases, a person has already made health decisions in a living will, and if so, those wishes will generally be honored. Absent a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care can allow a named person (called an “agent”) to make health care decisions, including whether or not the patient should be connected to a respirator. Hawaii’s durable power of attorney statutes are listed below.

Code Section

Hawaii Revised Statutes 551E-1, et seq.: Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Agent authorized to make any lawful health care decisions that could have been made by principal at time of election. Agent may decide that principal's life should not be prolonged through surgery, resuscitation, life-sustaining medicine, or procedures for provision of nutrition or hydration if explicitly appointed

Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney

(1) Competent adult; (2) in writing and signed by principal or another in his or her presence at expressed direction; (3) dated; (4) in presence of 2 or more adult witnesses; (5) signature notarized; (6) with words such as "This power of attorney shall not be affected by the disability (or become effective upon disability) of principal." (Sample form §551D-2.6)

Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney

Effective only during period of incapacity of principal as determined by licensed physician. Not revoked until notice of actual death or disability of principal is given to attorney-in-fact (durable or otherwise).

Validity from State-to-State


If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney


Immunity for Attending Physician


Related Resources for Durable Power of Attorney Laws in Hawaii

Health care decisions, and the powers of attorney that allow people to make them, are serious matters. You can consult with an experienced Hawaii estate planning attorney or a Hawaii health care attorney if you would like legal help with a power of attorney or health care matter. And FindLaw’s section on Health Care Powers of Attorney can provide you with further reading and resources on this topic.

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