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Health Care Directive (or Living Will)

A Health Care Directive (also called a Living Will) lets you state what kind of medical treatments you do or do not wish to have if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and cannot make decisions for yourself. It also lets you write down your health care values. You can fill out your Health Care Directive here on Washington Forms Online, or download a printable packet. #9607EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is a form that lets you say what kind of medical treatments you do or do not want if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and cannot make decisions for yourself. A Health Care Directive also lets you write down your health care values.

They are your wishes and preferences for health care, including your religious, ethical and personal preferences for care. They should guide health care decisions made for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself in all situations, not just if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

Some examples of what you can include are:

  • "I'm worried about having the feeling of choking. Please do anything you can to relieve me of that stress."
  • "I can tolerate a low level of pain – balance pain with keeping my brain clear."
  • "Quality of life is more important to me than getting a lot of medical care."
  • "What matters to me most is being in a hospital with excellent care."
  • "The ability to be in the outdoors is what makes life worth living for me. If my health condition prevents me from being outside at all, then I would no longer want to live."
  • "It is important to me to be able to recognize my family and say goodbye."
  • "I want to spend my last days at home."
  • "In my religion, we . . . (describe your religious traditions regarding health care).
  • "I love jazz music and would like to listen to it whenever possible."

No. You will also need a Durable Power of Attorney form. A power of attorney form lets you choose a trusted friend or relative to help you with your health care decisions. View our Durable Power of Attorney forms.  

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.

You should sign your Health Care Directive form in front of a notary. If you cannot find a notary, you can sign in front of two "disinterested" witnesses.

You should give it to your medical provider, your health care agent, and a trusted friend or relative. You should also ask your local hospital if they will put it on file for you.  

Yes. There are health care directives that let you say what kind of care you want if you have a mental health disability or dementia. You can find these other directives at: WashingtonLawHelp.org.

Outside King County: Call the CLEAR hotline at 1-888-201-1014 weekdays, 9:15 am-12:15 pm. 

King County: Call 211 for information 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 get info on King County legal service providers at Resource House.

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.

Fill it out online: Washington Forms Online

If you do not want to fill out the forms by hand, use this free program that asks questions and uses your answers to complete your forms. 

Launch Interview 
 Start Health Care Directive
Washington Forms Online

Link takes you to a separate website.

Disclaimer:  This program is designed to follow current law. It does not apply legal principles and judgment to anyone's specific circumstances.

Download Packet with Instructions and Form

Last Review and Update: Jul 18, 2022
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