Are You a Legal Professional?

Living Wills: State Laws

State Overview Citation
Alabama Advance directive for health care requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.

 §§22-8A-1 to 22-8A-13

All statutes

Alaska

Living will requires no witnesses. Two witnesses are required for a "health care proxy," but this allows only general medical decisions to be made

 §§18.12.010 to 18.12.100

All statutes

Arizona

One witness and a notary are required for a living will, as well as for a health care power of attorney.

 §§36-3201 to 36-3297

All statutes

Arkansas

Both living wills and health care proxies require two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant

§§20-17-202 to 20-17-218

All statutes

California

Advance Healthcare Directive requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. A durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses OR a notary.

 Probate Code §§4700 to 4743

All codes

Colorado

Health care declaration (living will) requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. Medical durable power of attorney for health care does NOT require any witnesses or notary.

§§15-18-101 to 15-18-113

All statutes

Connecticut

Advance directive (inclusive of a living will, or an appointment of health care representative, or both) requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.

§§19a-570 to 19a-580d

All statutes

Delaware

Advance health-care directive (includes an individual instruction or a power of attorney for health care, or both) requires two witnesses.

 Title 16, §§2501 to 2518

All statutes

District of Columbia

Health care declaration (living will) requires two witnesses.

§§7-621 to 7-630

All statutes

Florida

Two witnesses are required for both a health care advance directives (living will) and the designation of a health care surrogate.

 §§765.301 to 765.310

All statutes

Georgia

Advance directive for health care (living will) require two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant.

§§31-32-1 to 31-32-12

All statutes

Hawaii

Advance health-care directive, or a power of attorney for health care, require two witnesses OR a notary. Not valid if pregnant.

 §§327E-1 to 327E-16

All statutes

Idaho

No witnesses required for a "Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care." Not valid if pregnant. Optional submission to state registry.

 §§39-4501 to 39-4509

All statutes

Illinois

Health care declaration (living will) requires two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. One witness is required for power of attorney for health care.

 Ch. 755, §§35/1 to 35/10

All statutes

Indiana

Both a living will declaration and a life prolonging procedures will declaration require two witnesses. Not valid if pregnant. Appointment of health care representative requires one witness.

§§16-36-4-1 to 16-36-4-21

All statutes

Iowa

Two witnesses OR a notary are required for a living will. Not valid if pregnant. Power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses or notary.

§§144A.3 to 144A.12

All statutes

Kansas

Two witnesses or a notary are required for a living will.

§§65-28,101 to 65-28, 109

All statutes

Kentucky

Advance directive, section two (2) requires two witnesses or notary. Not valid if pregnant. Section one (1) requires two witnesses.

§§311.621 to 311.644

All statutes

Louisiana

Both living will and health care proxy require two witnesses.

 Title 40, §§1299.58.1. to 1299.58.10

All statutes

Maine

Advance directive section one and section two require two witnesses.

 Title 18-A, §§5-801 to 5-817

All statutes

Maryland

Advance medical directive health care instructions require two witnesses. Appointment of health care agents also require two witnesses.

§§5-601 to 5-618

All statutes

Massachusetts

No provision for a living will. Two witnesses are required for a health care proxy.

All statutes 

Michigan

No provision for a living will. Two witnesses are required for designation of patient advocate for health care.

All statutes

Minnesota

A notary or two witnesses are required for a health care living will. Not valid if pregnant. Two witnesses or a notary are required for durable power of attorney for health care.

§§145B.01 to 145B.17

All statutes

Mississippi

Advance health care directive (living will and health care proxy included on same form) requires a notary or two witnesses.

§§41-41-201 to 41-41-229

All statutes

Missouri

Two witnesses required for a living will, but is not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care requires a notary or two witnesses.

§§459.015 to 459.055

All statutes

Montana

Two witnesses required for a living will.

§§50-9-101 to 50-9-206

All statutes

Nebraska

Two witnesses and a notary required for a living will.

§§20-401 to 20-416

All statutes

Nevada

Two witnesses required for a living will. Durable power of attorney for health care decisions requires a notary OR two witnesses.

§§449.535 to 449.690

All statutes

New Hampshire

Advance directive requires a notary OR two witnesses. Durable power of attorney for health care requires a notary OR two witnesses.

 §§137-J:1 to 137-J:16

All statutes

New Jersey

Either instruction directive, or appointment of a health care representative requires two witnesses or a notary public or to be signed in front of a lawyer.

26:2H-53 to 26:2H-91

All statutes

New Mexico

Instructions for health care and designation of power of attorney for healthcare are permissible. Neither requires a witness. (§§24-7A-2)

 §§24-7A-1 to 24-7A-18

All statutes

New York

Two witnesses required for a living will. Health care proxy requires two witnesses.

Article 29-B, §§2964 to 2978 and
§§2980 to 2994

All statutes

North Carolina

Two witnesses required for a living will. Not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses.

 §§90-320 to 90-322

All statutes

North Dakota

Two witnesses required for a living will. Not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses.

23-06.4-01 to 23-06.4-14

All statutes

Ohio

Two witnesses or a notary are required for a living will, but it is not valid if pregnant unless pregnancy won't develop to a live birth. Durable power of attorney for health care requires a notary or two witnesses.

§§§§2133.01 to 2133.15

All statutes

Oklahoma

Two witnesses required for a living will, but it is not valid if pregnant. Appointment of health care proxy requires two witnesses.

Title 63, Ch. 60, §§3101.1 to 3102A

All statutes

Oregon

Health care instruction requires two witnesses. Health care representative appointment requires two witnesses.

§§127.505 to 127.660, and §§127.995

All statutes

Pennsylvania

Two witnesses are required for a living will needs, but it is not valid if pregnant. Appointment of a surrogate decision maker is part of the declaration.

Title 20, Chapter 54, §§5441 to 5447

All statutes

Rhode Island

Two witnesses required for a living will, but it is not valid if pregnant and if the fetus could develop for a live birth. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses.

§§23-4.11-1 to 23-4.11-15

All statutes

South Carolina

Declaration of desire for a natural death requires two witnesses and a notary. Health care power of attorney requires two witnesses.

§§44-77-10 to 44-77-160

All statutes

South Dakota

Two witnesses are required for a living will. Not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care needs two witnesses or a notary.

§§34-12D-1 to 34-12D-22

All statutes

Tennessee

Two witnesses are required for a living will. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses. A notary is optional.

§§32-11-101 to 32-11-113

All statutes

Texas

Directive to physicians requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses.

 §§166.031 to 166.053

All statutes

Utah

Advance health care directive requires one witness. Not valid if pregnant.

 §§§§75-2a

All statutes

Vermont

Advance medical directive requires two witnesses.

Title 18, Ch. 231, §§§§9700 9720

All statutes

Virginia

Advance medical directive requires two witnesses.

§§54.1-2981 to 54.1-2993

All statutes

Washington

Health care directive requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care does not require, but does recommend witnesses.

 §§70.122.010 to 70.122.920

All statutes

West Virginia

Two witnesses and a notary are required for a living will. Medical power of attorney for health care also requires two witnesses and a notary.

 §§16-30-1 to 16-30-25

All statutes

Wisconsin

Declaration to physicians requires two witnesses, but is not valid if pregnant. Power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses.

§§154.01 to 154.29

All statutes

Wyoming

Two witnesses OR a notary are required for a living will, but is not valid if pregnant. Durable power of attorney for health care requires two witnesses OR a notary.

 §§35-22-201 to 35-22-416

All statutes

Next Steps
Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help you ensure
that your wishes are honored.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution