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

In Indiana, whether you need witnesses or a notary depends on which health care directives you make.

In Indiana, your  health care directives  will include one or two documents, depending on your wishes.  You may use a living will declaration to describe and document the kind of health care you would like to receive if you can no longer speak for yourself. And you may use a durable power of attorney for health care to name a trusted person (called your attorney-in-fact and health care representative) to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you are no longer able to do so.

Signing Requirements for Indiana Health Care Directives

After you create your health care documents, you must sign them and have your living will declaration witnessed and your power of attorney notarized.

Your living will 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 sign your durable power of attorney for health care in front of a notary public. You may 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.

What to Do With Your Signed Health Care Directives

After you have had your documents witnessed or notarized, they are legally valid. Keep the originals in your files and give copies 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. 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.

More Information

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 Indiana law and it will print with plain English instructions that tell you how to make it legal.

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