If you’ve had a medical checkup lately, your doctor may have asked you about a living will or advance directive. These legal documents explain your health care preferences if you are unable to communicate. An advance directive also identifies a specific person to speak on your behalf, if you can’t speak for yourself. This person is sometimes called your healthcare proxy or healthcare power of attorney.
Each state has slightly different legal requirements for living wills. To make your task easier, we’ve gathered form and instruction links for every state.
You won’t need a lawyer to make your living will official, but most states do require signing the document in front of two witnesses. In many states, documents must also be signed in the presence of a notary public.
A living will or advance directive won’t do much good if it’s locked up at home or in a safe deposit box. The best way to share your wishes is to make copies for your primary care doctor and close family.
Advance directive and living will form
Advance health care directive booklet (PDF download)
Electronic filing of advance directives
Aging with Dignity website with links to approved forms
Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
Colorado Advance Directives Consortium
Living wills and advance directives
Delaware’s Advance Health Care Directive Form
State of Florida advance directives and living wills
Download the Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care
Advance directives example from the University of Hawaii
Idaho has an online state health care directive registry.
Advance directives forms and information from Department of Public Health
State of Indiana advance directive resource center
University of Iowa advance directive resources
Advance directive guides from The University of Kansas School of Law
Attorney General living will packet
A Louisiana living will is called a State of Louisiana Declaration. Information and forms are located at: http://www.sos.la.gov/OurOffice/EndOfLifeRegistries/Pages/default.aspx
Maine Health Care Advance Directive Form
Maryland Attorney General advance directive information and downloads
Information about health care proxies, living wills and letting your family know about your preferences for life sustaining medical treatments.
Making Choices Michigan is a non-profit helping people document and ensure future healthcare choices.
Health care directives and information on aging.
Mississippi advance directive form
Montana’s End-of-Life Registry and information about advance directives
Advance directive information from the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Living will and power of attorney information and forms
New Hampshire Advance Care Planning Guide
Advance directive forms and frequently asked questions
New Mexico offers extensive information about advance directives and end-of-life planning on a state website called New Mexico Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (NM MOST).
Advance care planning website from the New York Department of Health
North Carolina Advance Health Care Directive Registry
Download the North Dakota Health Care Directive form from the North Dakota State University Aging Well website.
Advance directive and living will forms from the Ohio Bar Association
Information and downloadable advance directive forms from the Oklahoma Department of Health website
State of Oregon website for advance directive information and forms
Advance directive forms from Penn Medicine
Advance directive information from the state health site
Advance directive brochure and information from the state bar.
Living will download form from the State Bar of South Dakota
Advance Directives for Health Care Decision Making
Texas Health and Human Services advance directive information
Utah advance Health Care Directive forms and instructions
Advance directives from healthvermont.gov
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Healthcare and advance care directives from End of Life Washington
Advance directive forms and upload registry at the West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care
Forms from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
My Choices booklet with form downloads from Wyoming Medical Center