Healthcare Power of Attorney Help Guide

Use LegalNature's healthcare power of attorney to designate someone you trust to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf. It is important to have a healthcare power of attorney if you have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Even if you are still healthy now, it is smart to protect yourself in case something should happen to you.

Agent and Other Appointments

In your state, this person may be called your agent, proxy, representative, or something similar. Your agent is legally required to follow your directions listed in the document as well as any other wishes you communicate to him or her. You can also use LegalNature's living will form, which includes a healthcare power of attorney in it, to specify your wishes concerning the treatment you receive if you become too sick to speak for yourself.

Your healthcare agent needs to be at least 18 years old and mentally competent to follow your directions. In addition, read your document for any additional state-specific requirements. Many states prevent you from appointing your physician or an employee of your healthcare provider as your agent. If you are unsure, it is best to appoint someone who does not fall into these categories and someone you trust to carry out your wishes no matter what.

In addition, LegalNature's healthcare power of attorney allows you the option to appoint a guardian of your person or estate should you need one. You can also elect to designate your primary physician and your wishes concerning organ donation and burial.

Executing your Healthcare Power of Attorney

It is very important that you read the ENTIRE document before signing. Not only are you delegating important authority to your agent that you need to be aware of, but there are many places that require you to initial next to your choices. Initialing is required to both indicate your choice and to prove your wishes in the event there is ever a dispute. Once you are sure you have read the document and indicated your healthcare choices, simply sign and date where applicable and follow the witnessing requirements below.

Witnessing Requirements by State

Some states only require the signatures of two witnesses OR a notary. However, it is best (and we highly recommend) to have two disinterested witnesses AND a notary sign your power of attorney. Refer to your state's specific witnessing requirements below:

Alabama – at least two witnesses must sign

Alaska – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Arizona – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Arkansas – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

California – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Colorado – at least two witnesses must sign

Connecticut – at least two witnesses must sign

Delaware – at least two witnesses must sign

District of Columbia – at least two witnesses must sign

Florida – two witnesses AND a notary must sign

Georgia – at least two witnesses must sign

Hawaii – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Idaho – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Illinois – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Indiana – at least two witnesses must sign

Iowa – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Kansas – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Kentucky – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Louisiana – at least two witnesses must sign

Maine – at least two witnesses must sign

Maryland – at least two witnesses must sign

Massachusetts – at least two witnesses must sign

Michigan – at least two witnesses must sign

Minnesota – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Mississippi – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Missouri – at least two witnesses must sign

Montana – at least two witnesses must sign

Nebraska – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Nevada – at least two witnesses must sign

New Hampshire – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

New Jersey – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

New Mexico – at least a notary must sign

New York – at least two witnesses must sign

North Carolina – two witnesses AND a notary must sign

North Dakota – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Ohio – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Oklahoma – at least two witnesses must sign

Oregon – at least two witnesses must sign

Pennsylvania – at least two witnesses must sign

Rhode Island – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

South Carolina – at least two witnesses must sign

South Dakota – at least two witnesses must sign

Tennessee – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Texas – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

Utah – at least one witness must sign

Vermont – at least two witnesses must sign

Virginia – at least two witnesses must sign

Washington – at least two witnesses must sign

West Virginia – at least two witnesses must sign

Wisconsin – at least two witnesses must sign

Wyoming – at least two witnesses or a notary must sign

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