Finalizing an Advance Health Care Directive in Delaware

In Delaware, you must have your health care directive signed by two witnesses.

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In Delaware, your health care directive is called an Advance Health Care Directive. After you create your advance directive, you must sign your document and then have it signed by two witnesses.

Neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
  • an owner, operator or employee of a residential long-term health care institution in which you are a resident
  • a person directly financially responsible for your medical care
  • a person with a claim against any portion of your estate, or
  • a person entitled to any portion of your estate by operation of law or under your will.

If you are a resident of a sanitarium, rest home, nursing home, boarding home or related institution, one of the witnesses must be, at the time you sign the Advance Health Care Directive, a patient advocate or ombudsman designated by the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities or the Public Guardian.

After you and your witnesses sign the advance directive, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. So, you might also consider giving copies of your advance directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.

Review your document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your agent is no longer able to supervise your wishes.

Your properly finalized document will stay in effect until you revoke it, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your document at any time. The best way to revoke your advance directive is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your advance directive that you have revoked it.

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Delaware Advance Health Care Directives.

When you make an health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Delware’s laws about advance directives and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.


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