A Brief Guide to Making an Advance Directive in D.C.

Advance Health Care Directive A Brief Guide to Making an Advance Directive in D.C.

All About an Advance Directive in D.C.

Putting your wishes regarding medical treatments on paper is a crucial step towards a more peaceful future. When you decide to create such a document—most commonly known as an advance directive—you should ensure it complies with your state laws.

DoNotPay is here to provide all the necessary information about an advance directive in D.C. and create the document for you—all you need to do is sign up.

What Is an Advance Directive in Washington, D.C.?

An advance directive is a legal document that includes details on how you want to be treated in certain medical situations. There are two types of advance directive in Washington, D.C., including:

  1. Durable power of attorney for health care
  2. Declaration (living will)

Washington, D.C., Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

It is a document that lets you appoint a health care agent who will make medical decisions for you when you no longer can. Consult the table below for information on who you can appoint and what powers they can have:

Who Can Be a Health Care Agent?What Powers Can Your Agent Have?
A reliable individual who is at least 18 years old, including:

  • Your spouse
  • Close friend
  • Adult child
  • Another close family member
  • Start or stop medical treatments or life support, such as:
    • CPR
    • Breathing machine or ventilator
    • Dialysis
    • Feeding tube
    • Blood and water transfusions
    • Surgery
    • Medicines
  • Call in a religious or spiritual leader
  • Decide if you pass away in a hospital or at home

Don’t let the name confuse you. A durable POA for health care is also referred to as a medical power of attorney or a health care proxy in some states—others even recognize subtle differences between the two.

Washington, D.C., Living Will

A declaration or living will is a type of advance directive that lets you state your wishes regarding medical treatments without choosing an agent. This document is used in situations when you:

  • Have a terminal disease
  • Are in a persistent vegetative state

DoNotPay can provide you with information on how to create a living will, what the form should contain, and how much money you will need for the process.

When Do D.C. Advance Directives Go Into Effect?

When your Washington, D.C., advance directive becomes effective depends on the type. Your durable health care power of attorney starts when your doctor and a qualified mental health professional (a psychiatrist or psychologist) determine you can’t make decisions independently.

A living will goes into effect when your physician and one other doctor certify that you have a terminal illness that will lead to your death without life-sustaining procedures.

How To Make an Advance Directive in D.C. Valid

To make an advance directive legally binding in D.C., you need to have it signed by two witnesses who are at least 18 years old. Neither of these individuals can:

  • Be your health care provider
  • Work for your health care provider
  • Be your health care agent
  • Work at the hospital you are being treated at

In addition to this, one of the witnesses must not:

  • Be related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage
  • Benefit financially after your death
  • Be in charge of paying your medical costs

Create an Advance Directive in a Few Simple Steps With DoNotPay

You can avoid paying sky-high lawyer fees and using generic advance directive forms if you opt for DoNotPay. Our app can generate this legal document in a matter of minutes. Here are the only steps you need to take:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Choose the Advance Health Care Directive product
  3. Appoint your agent
  4. Choose the powers you want to transfer to your agent
  5. Type in the witnesses’ names

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