In Indiana, your health care directive will include one or two documents. The document in which you set out your wishes for health care is a Living Will Declaration. The document in which you name a trusted person to make health care decisions on your behalf is called a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Appointment of Health Care Representative. After you create your documents, you must sign them and have your declaration witnessed and your power of attorney notarized.
Your living will declaration must be signed by two witnesses. Neither of your witnesses may be:
- under the age of 18
- your parent, spouse or child
- a person entitled to any part of your estate
- a person directly financially responsible for your medical care, or
- the person who signed your declaration for you, if you were unable to sign it yourself.
You must have your durable power of attorney for health care and appointment of health care representative notarized by a notary public. You can either go to the notary public’s office, or the notary can travel to you (for a fee). The notary will ask for proof of your identity and will either sign the notary section of the document or attach his or her own notary certificate.
After you have had your documents witnessed and/or notarized, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give a copy to your attorney-in-fact and health care representative, 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 and health care representative 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 either document at any time. It’s best to revoke 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 directive that you have revoked it.
Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.
Learn more about Indiana Living Wills and Powers of Attorney for Health Care.
When you make a health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Indiana’s laws about living will declarations and durable powers of attorney for health care, and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.