In Missouri, your health care directive may include one or two documents, depending on your wishes. With your Declaration (commonly called a living will) 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. After you create your documents you must sign them and have them witnessed and/or notarized, following these rules:
- Your declaration 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, your document must be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized. If you do not grant this power, only the notary is necessary.
After you have your documents witnessed and/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. So, 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.
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 your health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Missouri’s laws about living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. It will also print with plain English instructions that detail how to make your documents legal.