In Michigan, you may describe your wishes for health care in a living will and patient advocate designation.
Michigan is one of just three states without a statute authorizing living wills, but federal law has firmly established your right to direct your own medical care, and a living will provides important guidance to help others understand your treatment wishes. In Michigan, some people make a separate living will document, while others include detailed health care instructions in their patient advocate designation, which is Michigan's document for naming a trusted person to make health care decisions for you if you can't make them yourself.
Sign Your Michigan Health Care Directives in Front of Two Witnesses
In Michigan, you must sign your health care documents in front of two witnesses. Witnesses for your living will should be at least 18 years old and should be someone other than your patient advocate.
The witnesses for your patient advocate designation may not be:
- under the age of 18
- your spouse, parent, child, grandchild or sibling
- your patient advocate
- your physician
- an employee of your life or health insurance provider
- an employee of a health care facility where you are a patient
- an employee of a home for the aged where you live, or
- entitled to any portion of your estate by operation of law or under your will.
What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives
After you and your witnesses sign your documents, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies to your patient advocate, 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 document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your patient advocate is no longer able to supervise your wishes.
Your properly finalized document directing health care and patient advocate designation will stay in effect until you revoke them, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your documents at any time. It’s best to do so 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 Michigan Living Wills and Patient Advocate Designations.
When you make your health care documents with Quicken WillMaker Plus, they will conform to all of Michigan’s health care directive laws and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.