Is Your Living Will Valid In Another State?
Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you are is important. When you move to a different state, work in a different state for long periods of time, vacation in a different state for months at a time or otherwise split your time between more than one state, you should talk to your estate planning attorney to make sure your living will, or advance directive, is valid in all the states you frequent.
What is a Living Will, or Advance Directive?
In an earlier post "When Do I Need a Living Will? Is it the Same as a DNR?" we introduced various concepts to consider regarding advance directives. 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 power of attorneys. For example, some states require two witnesses, other states require one witness, and some states do not require a witness at all. In Ohio it's a health care power of attorney while in other states it's a health care proxy.
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.
To find out if your document will work in all the states where you live, consult with an elder law attorney in the state, or contact Joseph L. Motta.
Elder Law Attorney in Avon Lake, Ohio (Cleveland Area)
At Joseph L. Motta Co., a local estate planning firm in Avon Lake, OH, we help our clients to leave a legacy, not a predicament. We will review your estate planning documents including any power of attorney documents, wills, trusts and living wills or advanced directives to help determine if they could use updating for other states you may spend substantial time in. Please call our office at 440-930-2826 to schedule a free consultation .