Do I Need to Have My Missouri Living Will Witnessed or Notarized?

In Missouri, whether you need witnesses or a notary depends on which health care directives you make.

In Missouri, your health care directives may include one or two documents, depending on your wishes. With your living will (sometimes called a declaration) you can leave instructions about the kind of health care you would like to receive if you become incapacitated. In your durable power of attorney for health care, you can name a trusted person (called your agent) to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Signing Requirements for Missouri Health Care Directives

After you create your health care documents you must sign them and have them witnessed or notarized, following these rules:

  • Your living will must be signed by two witnesses. Neither of your witnesses may be under the age of 18 or the person who signed your declaration for you, if you were unable to sign it yourself.
  • Your durable power of attorney for health care must be notarized. If you grant your agent power to direct your burial or cremation, you must also sign your power of attorney in front of two witneseses.

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives

After you have your documents witnessed or notarized, they are legally valid. Keep the originas in your files and give copies to your 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 documents 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 that they still reflect 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 documents will stay in effect until you revoke them, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your declaration and power of attorney at any time. 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.

More Information

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Missouri 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 Missouri law and will print with plain English instructions that tell you how to make your document legal. 

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