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Pennsylvania Advance Directive

A Pennsylvania Advance Directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes related to health care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment, and/or your selection of a... Read more

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Making an Advance Directive in Pennsylvania

  • What is a Pennsylvania Advance Directive?

    A Pennsylvania Advance Directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes related to health care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment, and/or your selection of a chosen healthcare decision maker.

    The individual making an Advance Directive is known as the "principal," while the individuals or organizations gaining authority to carry out the principal's wishes are called "agents." Suitable for Pennsylvania residents, this Advance Directive is made for use in Allegheny County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and in all other parts of the state. Any Pennsylvania Advance Directive from Rocket Lawyer can be edited to address your unique situation. As a result of this official document, your healthcare providers will have a point of reference for your decisions, and your agent(s) will be able to provide verification that they have the authority to act in your interest.

  • How do I make an Advance Health Care Directive in Pennsylvania?

    It is simple and easy to record your medical preferences using a free Pennsylvania Advance Directive template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your Advance Directive - Answer a few basic questions, and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share it - Discuss the document with your healthcare agent or seek legal help
    3. Sign it and make it legal - Optional or not, notarization and witnesses are encouraged

    This method, in most cases, would be notably more affordable and convenient than finding and working with your average law firm. If necessary, you may fill out this Advance Directive on behalf of an elderly parent, a spouse, or another family member, and then help that person sign after you've drafted it. Please keep in mind that for this document to be considered legally valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal has already been declared legally incompetent, a conservatorship might be necessary. When facing this situation, it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer.

  • Do I need to make an Advance Directive?

    Everyone over 18 years old should have an Advance Healthcare Directive (both a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will). Although it may be challenging to acknowledge, a day may come when you are no longer able to make your own healthcare decisions. Here are some typical situations where you may consider it helpful to make or update your Advance Directive:

    • You plan to undergo an in-patient procedure requiring anesthesia
    • You are getting older or dealing with ongoing health issues
    • You've been diagnosed with a terminal condition
    • You are preparing to live in a care facility

    Regardless of whether your Pennsylvania Advance Directive is being created in response to a change in your health or as part of a long-term plan, notarization and/or witnesses can often help to protect your document if anyone disputes its credibility. In Pennsylvania, Advance Directives that contain your medical treatment preferences are not valid when the principal is pregnant.

  • Do I need to work with an attorney for my Advance Directive in Pennsylvania?

    Making an Advance Directive is typically simple; however, you or your agent might still have questions. It will depend on whom you reach out to, but often some attorneys may not even accept requests to review your document if they were not the author. A more favorable approach might be via Rocket Lawyer attorney services. By becoming a Premium member, you will be able to ask for guidance from an experienced lawyer or send other questions about your Advance Directive. Rocket Lawyer is here for you.

  • On average, how much would I normally have to pay to make an Advance Directive in Pennsylvania?

    The fees associated with working with a law firm to draft an Advance Directive could range anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on where you are. Rocket Lawyer isn't your average Advance Directive template website. With our service, anyone under a Rocket Lawyer Premium membership can take advantage of up to a 40% discount when hiring an attorney.

  • Would I need to do anything else after I write my Pennsylvania Advance Directive?

    Attached to your Advance Directive, there is a set of next steps to take after the document is completed. With a Premium membership, you will be able to make edits, save it in Word or PDF format, print it, and sign it. Finally, your agent(s), care providers, and other impacted parties should get a copy of your final document.

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

    The requirements will be different in each state; however, in Pennsylvania, your document typically requires the signature of two witnesses. The principal may sign by signature or by mark, or they may direct another person to sign on their behalf. Where applicable, the witnesses to an Advance Directivel must not include the person who signed the document on your behalf. As a general principle, witnesses must be 18 years old or older, and none of them should also be your healthcare agent.

    Legal references for an Advance Directive in Pennsylvania: Title 20, Chapter 54

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