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Do You Really Need a Living Will? Indiana Residents Should Pay Attention.

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Advanced Health Directive Forms, also known as advance directives or living wills, are legal documents that allow individuals to outline their preferences and instructions for medical treatment and healthcare decisions in case they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves.

These documents provide a way for individuals to maintain control over their medical care and relieve their loved ones from making difficult decisions on their behalf.

There are several types of Advanced Health Directive Forms, each serving a specific purpose:

  1. Living Will:

    • A living will outline an individual's preferences for medical treatment in specific situations, such as life-sustaining measures, resuscitation, and organ donation.

    • It is used when the person is unable to communicate and is facing a terminal condition, end-stage illness, or permanent unconsciousness.

  1. Healthcare Power of Attorney (Medical Power of Attorney):

    • This document designates a trusted person, known as a healthcare proxy or agent, to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual if they are unable to do so.

    • The designated agent ensures that the individual's wishes, as expressed in the living will or through prior discussions, are followed.

  1. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order:

    • A DNR order instructs healthcare providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the individual's heart stops beating or they stop breathing.

    • It is typically used when an individual has a terminal illness or does not wish to undergo aggressive life-saving measures.

  1. Mental Health Advance Directive:

    • This form outlines preferences for mental health treatment and medications in the event the individual becomes unable to make decisions due to a mental health crisis.

Key Components of Advanced Health Directive Forms:

  • Identification of Decision Maker: Designating a healthcare proxy or agent responsible for making medical decisions.

  • Treatment Preferences: Specific instructions about the type of medical treatments and interventions the individual wishes to receive or avoid.

  • Organ Donation Preferences: Indicating the individual's preferences regarding organ and tissue donation.

  • Circumstances for Activation: Clearly defining the conditions under which the directives become effective, such as irreversible coma or terminal illness.


  • Empowerment: Allows individuals to express their values and preferences for medical care.

  • Relieves Burden: Eases the burden on family members by providing clear guidance on medical decisions.

  • Legal Recognition: Ensures that the individual's wishes are legally recognized and followed.

Advanced Health Directive Forms vary by state, and it's crucial to comply with specific state regulations to ensure the documents' legal validity. Notarizing these forms can add an extra layer of authentication and compliance with legal requirements. In Indiana, for instance, notarization may be a crucial step in the process of making the documents legally binding.

Perhaps it's time to discuss your Medical Health Directives with an attorney. Afterwards, when you're ready to notarize your documents contact a certified notary public in Indianapolis. Contact Express Notary Plus and protect the integrity of your important documents.

Express Notary Plus, Certified Notary Signing Agents in Indianapolis, Greenwood & Carmel, and Greenfield, IN (317)747-3025

📞 Call/Text - (317)747-3025

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This video and article is provided for entertainment purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. I am not an attorney licensed to practice law. I am not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities. We are a certified notary public in Indianapolis, Greenwood and Carmel areas. Contact us with all your legal document notary public services needs.

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