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An Iowa Advance Directive (or "Declaration Relating to Use of Life-Sustaining Procedures") is a legal document that outlines your preferences in relation to medical care, such as your request for or... Read more

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Making an Advance Directive in Iowa

  • What is an Iowa Advance Directive?

    An Iowa Advance Directive (or "Declaration Relating to Use of Life-Sustaining Procedures") is a legal document that outlines your preferences in relation to medical care, such as your request for or refusal of medical treatment, and/or the selection of a trusted healthcare decision maker.

    The person making an Advance Directive is called the "principal," and the person or entity gaining permission to carry out the principal's wishes is called the "agent." Suited for residents of Iowa, this free Advance Directive can be used in Linn County, Scott County, Polk County, and in every other county throughout the state. Each Iowa Advance Directive from Rocket Lawyer can be modified to address your unique situation. This document will provide proof of your decisions to medical facilities, and it will certify that your selected representatives have been given the authority to act in your interest when you are not able.

  • How do I write an Advance Directive in Iowa?

    It's very easy to record your medical preferences using a free Iowa Advance Directive template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make the document - Provide a few simple details, and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share it - Discuss the document with your healthcare agent or ask a lawyer
    3. Sign it - Optional or not, witnesses/notarization are encouraged

    This route is, in most cases, notably more affordable and convenient than finding and hiring a traditional law firm. If needed, you may fill out an Advance Directive on behalf of your spouse, an elderly parent, or another relative, and then help them sign once you've drafted it. Please remember that for an Advance Directive to be accepted as valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a conservatorship could be required. When managing this situation, it is important for you to talk to a lawyer.

  • Who should have an Advance Directive?

    If you are over 18 years old, you should have an Advance Healthcare Directive (both a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will) in place. While it can be difficult to think about, there could come a day when you are not able to make medical decisions on your own. Here are a few common occasions in which it would be helpful to make or update your Advance Directive:

    • You currently live in or have plans to move into a community care facility
    • You are managing a terminal condition
    • You are aging or have declining health
    • You will be in the hospital for surgery

    Regardless of whether your Iowa Advance Directive has been created as a result of a change in your health or as part of a forward-looking plan, witnesses and notarization are strongly encouraged for protecting this document and/or your agent if their privileges and authority are questioned by a third party. In Iowa, Advance Directives that contain your medical care preferences are not considered valid during the principal's pregnancy.

  • Do I need to hire a lawyer for my Advance Directive in Iowa?

    Making an Advance Directive is typically simple to do, but you or your agent(s) may have questions. Having a lawyer look over the document can take a long time if you do it alone. Another approach might be through attorney services at Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer Premium members have the ability to request feedback from an attorney with relevant experience or send other questions. As always, you can Live Confidently® knowing that Rocket Lawyer is by your side.

  • What might I normally pay to make an Advance Directive in Iowa?

    The cost of hiring a traditional legal provider to make an Advance Directive could be anywhere between $200 and $1,000, depending on where you are located. Different from other Advance Directive template providers that you may discover, Rocket Lawyer offers Premium membership holders up to 40% in savings when hiring a lawyer, so an attorney from our network can assess the situation and take action if you ever need assistance.

  • Am I required to do anything else after I have made an Iowa Advance Directive?

    With a Rocket Lawyer membership, you can edit it, download it as a PDF document or Word file, and print it out. To make the Iowa Medical Directive into a true legal document, you will need to sign it. You will need to send a final copy of the fully signed document to your agent(s) and care providers.

  • Does an Advance Directive need to be notarized or witnessed in Iowa?

    The guidelines and restrictions for Advance Directives are different by state; however, in Iowa, your Advance Directive needs to be acknowledged by a notary public or signed by two witnesses. The witnesses to your Advance Directive form shouldn't be your healthcare provider or their employees. Only one of the witnesses may be a relative (including your spouse or any adopted children). As a basic principle, witnesses must not be under the age of 18, and none of them should simultaneously be acting as your agent.

    Legal references for an Advance Directive in Iowa: Chapter 144A and 144B

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