Will my advance directives be honored in another state?
The answer to this question varies from state to state. Some states do honor
advance directives from another state; others will honor out-of-state documents
to the extent they conform to the state's own law; and some states do not
address the issue.
In fact, a state would probably have to honor an advance directive that
clearly expressed your treatment wishes, because your constitutional rights and
rights established by case law to accept or refuse treatment may be even
broader than your rights under a specific state law-please check with your
local Area Agency on Aging to verify your state's law.
By Helen Kirwan-Taylor
Many years ago I had a falling-out with a girlfriend that proved so painful, I can hardly talk about it today. My friend (let's call her Mary) was a colorful television personality and had the world at her feet. She was engaged to a handsome European, and her face was plastered across the newspapers. I was working for 60 Minutes at the time, and we often met for lunch. Then one day her show was canceled and she asked me - casually, as though it didn't really matter...
However, if you spend a significant amount of time in more than one state,
we recommend that you complete the advance directives for all the states
involved. It will be easier to have your advance directives honored if they are
the ones with which the medical facility is familiar.
How can I change what is in my advance directives?
An advance directive remains in effect until you revoke it. If you complete
a new advance directive, it invalidates the previous one. For this reason you
should review your advance directives periodically to ensure that they still
reflect your wishes. If you want to change anything in an advance directive
once you have completed it, you should complete a new document.
Do I need a lawyer to prepare advance directives?
No. Your local hospital, public health department, state bar association or
state office on aging also may provide them. Generic forms that are not
state-specific are available and may be used to supplement your wishes.
However, review any supplemental forms to ensure that language in one form does
not conflict with language in another form.
Read all of the instructions carefully to ensure that your document is
witnessed properly and that you have included all of the necessary information.
It might be wise to ask someone else to look over the documents for you to be
sure that you have filled them out correctly.
WebMD Medical Reference from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization