Health Care Directive (or Living Will)

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project - CLEAR Intake Line LSC Funded
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A health care directive lets you state what kind of medical treatments you do or do not wish to have if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. This resource has the form for you to fill out. Publication #9607EN


Download Packet with Instructions and Forms

Questions and Answers


What is a health care directive?

It lets you state what kind of medical treatments you do or do not wish to have if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A health care directive also lets you write down your health care values and any other directions to your medical providers.

Does it need to be notarized?

You should sign your health care directive in front of a notary. If you cannot find a notary, you can sign in front of two “disinterested” witnesses, but notarization is recommended.

What should I do after I sign it?

You should give it to your medical provider, your agent, and a trusted friend or relative.

Can I still make my own decisions?

Yes. You can still make your own health care decisions if you are capable. You can also change or cancel your directive at any time.

What does “revoke” mean?

It means to cancel. You can revoke your health care directive at any time and make a new one.

Are there other kinds of directives?

Yes. There are health care directives that let you state your preferences for mental health treatments and also for dementia care. You can find these other directives online at: WashingtonLawHelp.org.

What if I need legal help?

Outside King County: Call 1-888-201-1014 weekdays, 9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 

King County: Call 211 for info and referral to a legal services provider, weekdays 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.  You can also call (206) 461-3200 or toll-free 1-877-211-WASH (9274). You can also get info on King County legal service providers at www.resourcehouse.com/win211/.

Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers can call CLEAR or 211 (or toll-free 1-877-211-9274) using the relay service of their choice.

CLEAR and 211 will conference in free interpreters when needed. 

Free legal education publications, videos and self-help packets covering many legal issues are available at WashingtonLawHelp.org.


This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities.It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. 
Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.


Last Review and Update: Aug 20, 2019