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Will My Advance Directive Work in Another State?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | Firm News

Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you happen to be is important. If you move to a different state or split your time between one or more states, you should make sure your advance directive is valid in all the states you frequent.

An advance directive gives instructions on the kind of medical care you would like to receive should you become unable to express your wishes yourself, and it often designates someone to make medical decisions for you. Each state has its own laws setting forth requirements for valid advance directives and health care proxies. For example, some states require two witnesses, other states require one witness, and some states do not require a witness at all.

Most states have provisions accepting an advance care directive that was created in another state. But some states only accept advance care directives from states that have similar requirements and other states do not say anything about out-of-state directives. States can also differ on what the terms in an advance directive mean. For example, some states may require specific authorization for certain life-sustaining procedures such as feeding tubes while other states may allow blanket authorization for all procedures.

One of the best ways to strengthen and prepare your Response Team is by frequently reviewing, and if necessary updating, your legal documents such as your Durable Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts, and Health Care Powers of Attorney and Health Care Declaration (Living Will).  Each of these documents directs your Team’s actions at a time when you cannot direct them yourself.  We encourage our clients to meet with our attorneys to review their legal documents every 3-5 years or when a major life event occurs.  This will ensure that each document is updated with the current local laws of where you are living, that each Response Team member is able and willing to act as an agent, and ensure that you have your team in place for your future care needs.

Attorneys Scott Severns or Anna Howard will spend substantial time with you to review your individual concerns and expectations, guide and advise you about best options. Call 317.817.0300 to schedule your FREE 30-minute intake call with our paralegal Alesha Dugger.

Blog Article Courtesy of Elder Law Answers