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

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



In Ohio, 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 attorney-in-fact), you will make a durable power of attorney for health care. Most people benefit from making both documents.

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

After you make your documents, you must sign them in front of two witnesses or a notary public.

If you choose to have your declaration witnessed, neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
  • your attending physician
  • an administrator of a nursing home where you receive care, or
  • the person who signed your declaration, if you were unable to sign it yourself.

If you choose to have your durable power of attorney for health care witnessed, neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
  • your attorney-in-fact
  • your attending physician, or
  • an administrator of a nursing home where you receive care.

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives

After you have finalized your documents, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your attorney-in-fact, 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 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 declaration or durable power of attorney 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 documents that you have revoked them.

Learn More

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Ohio Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care: What You Need to Know.

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

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