The Best Sources for North Dakota Health Care Directive Forms
If you've decided it's time to prepare documents directing your health care, congratulations. It may be challenging to think about the kinds of medical treatment you do or do not want at the end of life, but your completed forms are almost guaranteed to bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones.
To get started, you'll need the right forms to fill out. In North Dakota, that means obtaining a Health Care Directive form.
Which Health Care Directive Form Is Best?
You have several options for choosing health care forms in North Dakota. You can use the Health Care Directive form published by the state, but you are not required to do so. Other Health Care Directive forms are valid as long as they meet state law requirements, including signing and witnessing or notarization rules. (See N.D. Century Code § 23-06.5-16 and -17.)
If you want to quickly prepare a legally valid Health Care Directive, you can find a link to a free copy of North Dakota's form below. Many people prefer, however, to have additional guidance to help them complete their form.
Following is a brief overview of what North Dakota's Health Care Directive form covers, as well as options for getting additional help.
About North Dakota's Health Care Directive Form
The Health Care Directive published by North Dakota is divided into four parts.
Part 1: Appointment of Health Care Agent. The first section of the form lets you name a health care agent who will speak for you if you become too ill to speak for yourself. You can also name an alternate agent, in case your first choice becomes unable to serve.
In addition to setting out your agents basic duties, the form allows you to provide your own instructions or limits to help your agent make decisions on your behalf. You can also extend your agent's powers to cover certain post-death matters, such as deciding whether to donate your organs and whether your body will be buried or cremated.
Part 2: Your health care instructions (living will). The second part of the form invites you to set out detailed wishes about the kind of health care you do or don't want. Your agent and health care providers are directed to follow your instructions when you are unable to make and communicate health care decisions for yourself. The form allows you to address a range of situations and treatments and provides blanks for you to include detailed statements about your goals, feelings, and beliefs.
Part 3: Organ donation. Part three gives you the opportunity to state whether you wish to donate organs after your death, and to provide specific guidelines if you choose.
Part 4. Making the document legal. This is where you sign your form and have it witnessed or notarized.
Where to Get a Free Copy of North Dakota's Advance Directive Form
Making a North Dakota Advance Directive with Quicken WillMaker
We're going to be upfront here. The authors of this website, Albin Renauer, J.D., and Shae Irving, J.D., have extensive experience creating tools to help people make their own valid legal forms, and they have spent a couple of decades researching and studying the health care directive laws for the fifty states. Each is a lawyer and contributor to the Quicken WillMaker estate planning software program, available from Nolo.com.
The North Dakota Health Care Directive form you make with Quicken WillMaker meets all state law requirements and allows you to spell out your wishes for health care in as little or as much detail as you choose. The program walks you step by step through the process of making your document, explaining each choice along the way. When you're done, you simply print your completed Health Care Directive and follow the enclosed instructions about how to sign it, have it witnessed or notarized, and get it into the hands of those who may need to know your wishes in the future.
If you're ready to get started, you can download Quicken WillMaker and make your forms today.
When to Get a Lawyer's Help
Health care forms are specially designed so you can complete them on your own, or with input as needed from your doctor or other health care advisers. That said, if you feel more comfortable enlisting a lawyer to make or review your documents, you should seek help from a qualified estate planning attorney.
For more information about hiring a lawyer to make your documents, including situations when a lawyer's help may be particularly useful, see Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Living Will?