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Making an Advance Directive in Washington
A Washington Advance Directive is a legal document that sets forth your preferences in relation to medical care, such as your refusal or acceptance of a medical treatment, and/or the naming of a chosen healthcare agent.
The individual making an Advance Directive is called the "principal," and the individuals or entities receiving authority to carry out the principal's wishes are called "agents." Suitable for residents of Washington, this free Advance Directive can be used in Spokane County, Clark County, Snohomish County, and in any other part of the state. Each Washington Advance Directive from Rocket Lawyer can be customized for your unique circumstances. This legal document will provide a record of your decisions to medical facilities, and it will confirm that your chosen agents have been authorized to act in your interest when you are not able.
It is very easy to record your medical preferences with a free Washington Advance Directive template from Rocket Lawyer:
This route is often going to be notably less expensive than hiring and working with a conventional lawyer. If necessary, you can prepare this Advance Directive on behalf of your spouse or another family member, and then have them sign it once you've drafted it. Please note that for an Advance Directive to be accepted as valid, the principal must be mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal is already unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship generally will be required. When managing such a scenario, it would be best for you to work with an attorney.
Every person over 18 should have an Advance Healthcare Directive (both a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will) in place. While it can be tough to think about, there might come a day when you are no longer able to make important decisions on your own. Typical circumstances in which it may be useful to make or update your Advance Directive include:
Whether your Washington Advance Directive is being generated as part of a forward-looking plan or made as a result of a recent change in your health, notarization and/or witnesses are strongly encouraged for protecting your document if its legitimacy is questioned. That said, Health Care Directives in the form of a Living Will are not valid during pregnancy in Washington.
Making an Advance Directive is usually easy to do, but you or your agent(s) could need advice. Hiring a legal professional to provide feedback on your Washington Advance Directive can be time-intensive and fairly costly. An easier and more cost-effective route is to request help from the On Call network of attorneys. When you sign up for a Premium membership, you can get your documents reviewed or ask any legal questions. As always, Rocket Lawyer will be by your side.
The fees associated with hiring and working with a lawyer to write an Advance Directive might be between $200 and $1,000. When using Rocket Lawyer, you are not just filling out an Advance Directive template. In case you ever require support from a lawyer, your Premium membership provides up to a 40% discount when you hire an attorney.
Alongside your Advance Directive, there is a list of instructions on what you should do next. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you will be able to make edits, save it as a Word or PDF file, print it, and sign it. Finally, be sure that your agent(s) and care providers receive their copy of your final document.
The specific guidelines and restrictions for Advance Directives vary in each state; however, in Washington, your Advance Directive must be signed by a notary public or two witnesses. The witnesses to your form shouldn't include any care providers, whether at your home, at an adult family home, or at a long-term care facility, if you live there. Your spouse and any other family members are also restricted from being witnesses. As a basic rule, your witnesses will need to be at least age 18, and no witness should simultaneously be your healthcare agent.
See legal references for an Advance Directive in Washington: RCW 70.112.030