Once your document has been completed, and you have talked to your healthcare agent(s), it is time to legalize your document.
The advance directive must be signed by two witnesses and a notary. Witnesses must be at least 18 years of age and not related by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, or adoption to the creator of the advance directive. The healthcare agent(s) cannot be a witness.
In Missouri, a notary must sign the document and affix his or her official seal.
Now that you have completed your advance directive, you should:
- Give a copy of your advance directive to your healthcare agent(s) and physician or health provider.
- Keep a copy of the directive for yourself where it can be easily found.
- Review your document every ten years, or whenever your wishes change.
- Talk to your agent and anyone else who may be involved in your care at life’s end.
- If your wishes change, tell your health care agent, your family, your physician, and everyone who has copies of the document and complete a new advance directive to reflect your current wishes.
When you have completed your advance directive, encourage those around you to do the same.
One document can relieve your family of the burden of guessing what you wanted for yourself at life’s end.
Add advance care planning to your bucket list and take control of your healthcare decisions.