CaringInfo provides free advance directives and instructions for each state that can be opened as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file.
The PDF’s may be filled in online. Some states allow online notarization. The forms should be saved and stored in multiple sites. They should also be printed so that they may be formalized by witness signatures or notarized if your state so requires. The states vary in their requirements for witnesses, notarization and other specifics so review the form and its instructions carefully.
One state’s advance directive does not always work in another state. Some states do honor advance directives from another state; others will honor out-of-state advance directives as long as they are similar to the state’s own law; and some states do not have an answer to this question. The best solution is if you spend a significant amount of time in more than one state, you should complete the advance directives for all the states you spend a significant amount of time in.
Designation of an Agent for Healthcare Decisions in your State
Every state allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your healthcare when you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Whatever your stage of life, it is a good idea to think about who you would like to make decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. These statements are referred to by different names, e.g., a durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy, or a designation of health agent.
When you chose someone to help you, you are also able to tell them what is important to you, about the kind of care you think is important or what they’d like to think about if they have to make a decision for you. You can give specific instructions, general guidance, or just say you want to decide for you and trust the person to do what is in your best interests at the time. The Conversation Project’s Guide to Choosing a Health Care Proxy can help you prepare to choose an advocate. You may also share the Conversation Project’s Guide to Being a Health Care Proxy with the person so that they understand what may be involved with being your proxy.
If you do not choose someone in advance and there is a time you are unable to make your own decisions, there are state laws that help your healthcare providers determine who can make those decisions for you. Some states provide a specific order or priority. Others require a healthcare provider to notify a broader group of family who are the directed to decide who will be the decisionmaker. Some states do not have any provision for who will become the decisionmaker.
If you have any legal questions regarding these documents, we recommend contacting your state attorney general’s office or an attorney.
If you have any other questions call our InfoLine at 800-658-8898 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the forms
These materials are copyrighted by CaringInfo and their use encouraged for personal and family benefit. Permission is granted to download a single copy of any portion of these texts. Use by individuals for personal and family benefit is specifically authorized and encouraged. Further copies or publication are prohibited without express Written permission.