In Colorado, your health care directive will include one or two documents:
- a Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment (sometimes called a living will) if you choose to leave instructions for your health care, and/or
- a Medical Durable Power of Attorney with which you can name an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf.
After you create your documents, you and two witnesses must sign them. You may also have them notarized.
Neither of your witnesses may be:
- a physician
- an employee of your attending physician
- an employee of a health care facility where you are a patient
- a person with a claim against your estate, or
- a person entitled to any part of your estate by operation of law or under your will.
In addition, if you are a patient or resident of a health care facility, the witnesses cannot be patients of that facility.
After your witnesses sign your documents, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy 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 declaration and power of attorney 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 documents 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 Colorado Living Wills and Medical Durable Powers of Attorney.
When you make an health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Colorado’s medical declaration and power of attorney laws and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.