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

In Nebraska, you must sign your health care directives in front of witnesses or notary.



In Nebraska, you may describe your wishes for health care in a living will and medical power of attorney. With your living will (also 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 attorney-in-fact for health care) to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Sign Your Nebraska Health Care Directives in Front of Two Witnesses or a Notary

After you create your documents, you must sign them and have them witnessed or notarized according to the following rules.

Your living will. Your declaration must be signed by two witnesses or notarized; it’s your choice. If you choose to have the document witnessed, neither of your witnesses may be under the age of 18 or an employee of your life or health insurance provider. In addition, one witness may not be a director or employee of your treating health care provider.

Your durable power of attorney for health care. Your durable power of attorney for health care must be witnessed or notarized, depending on the powers that you grant to your agent. If you grant your agent power to direct your burial or cremation, your document must be notarized. If you do not grant your agent the power to direct your burial or cremation, you may choose to have your document signed by two witnesses or notarized.  If you choose to have the document witnessed, neither of your witnesses may be:

  • your attorney-in-fact for health care decisions
  • your attending physician
  • your spouse, parent, child, grandchild or sibling
  • your presumptive heir or known devisee, or
  • an employee of your life or health insurance provider.

In addition, one of your witnesses must not be an administrator or employee of your health care provider.

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives

After you have your documents witnessed or notarized, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your attorney-in-fact for health care, 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 attorney-in-fact 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

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Nebraska 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 Nebraska’s laws about living wills and powers of attorney for health care. It will also print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.

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