What You Need to Know
You may sign the attached form for a Living Will (Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates) if you are at least 18 years old, of sound mind, and acting on your own free will. The Living Will helps you communicate your wishes about your medical care. The Living Will takes effect only when you are in the terminal phase of illness or injury. Parents may complete a Living Will for their child under 18 years of age.
If you sign a Living Will, talk about the directive with your doctor and ask that a copy be made part of your medical record.
If you are unable to complete and sign a directive, you may tell your doctor your wishes in the presence of two witnesses. Your stated wishes, along with the witnesses' names, must be documented in your medical record.
Written or oral directives must be witnessed by two individuals. A notary is not necessary. The following persons may not be witnesses:
- The person you have designated as your agent
- A person related to you by blood or marriage
- A person entitled to any part of your estate after your death under a will or codicil executed by you or by the operation of law
- Your attending physician
- An employee of your attending physician
- An employee of a health care facility in which you are a patient if the employee is providing direct patient care to you or is an officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility
- A person who, at the same time this Power of Attorney is executed, has a claim against any part of your estate after your death