In Arkansas, you may describe your wishes for health care in a living will and medical power of attorney. If you want to leave instructions for your health care, you may make a living will (sometimes called a declaration). If you want to name a person to make health care decisions for you (called your health care agent), you will make a durable power of attorney for health care. Most people benefit from making both documents.
After you create your documents, you must sign them and then have them either witnessed or notarized. If you choose to have your document witnessed, your witnesses must be at least 18 years old. In addition, one of your witnesses may not be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, or entitled to any part of your estate under your will or by operation of law.
If you grant your health care agent power to direct your burial or cremation, your power of attorney for health care must be signed by two witnesses. (Notarization will not be enough to make your wishes legal.)
After you sign your documents and have them witnessed or notarized, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give a copy of each document 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. You might also consider giving copies of your health care directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.
Review your documents every few years to make sure they still reflect your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your health care agent is no longer able to supervise your wishes.
Your properly finalized documents will stay in effect until you revoke them, if you ever choose to do so. The best way to revoke your documents 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 health care documents that you have revoked them.
Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.
Learn more about Arkansas Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care.
When you make a health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to Arkansas law. It will also print with plain English instructions that tell you how to make it legal.