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

In North Dakota, you must sign your health care directive in front of witnesses or a notary.

In North Dakota, your  living will and medical power of attorney  are combined into a single document called a health care directive.  You may use your health care directive to document your health care wishes and to name a trusted person to make health care decisions for you when you cannot make those decisions for yourself.

Sign Your North Dakota Health Care Directive in Front of Two Witnesses or a Notary

After you make your health care document, you must have it signed by two witnesses or notarized. Neither the witnesses or the notary may be:

  • under the age of 18
  • your spouse or another person related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
  • your health care agent
  • a person entitled to any part of your estate upon your death, or
  • a person with a claim against your estate.

In addition, at least one witness must not be a health care or longterm care provider providing you with direct care or an employee of the health care or long-term care provider providing you with direct care. (This restriction does not apply to the notary.)

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directive

After you sign your document and have it witnessed or notarized, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, if you named one. To ensure you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. You might also consider giving copies of your health care directive 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 a new document 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 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 health care directive 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 document that you have revoked it.

Learn More

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about North Dakota Living Wills and Health Care Directives: What You Need to Know.

When you make a health care directive with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to North Dakota law. Your document will print with plain English instructions telling how to make it legal.  

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