Advance Health Care Directive Witnesses?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2019

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Advance Health Care Directive Witnesses?

I reside in Florida and have filled out an Advance Health Care Directive. There
is a place for two signature witnesses and/or a notary public. I don’t know two
people who can sign, however, I can easily get it notarized. Everything I read
says Florida doesn’t require it be notarized – just that it be witnessed by two
individuals. But my question is – will the state recognize a notary instead of
individuals? Thanks in advance.

Asked on October 12, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, the state will not: the requirement for a witness is separate and distinct from the requirement for a notary and is absolute--if not properly witnessed, it is in effective. It does not have to be personal friends or family, however: coworkers, neighbors, employees of your accountant or attorney, staff or employees from your building or community, people from some group or oganization or church to which you belong, etc. will do. All they have to be is 18 years old or older and mentally competent. Then ideally, have a notary appear at the signing and witnessing and notarize, to make the Directive "self proving"--i.e. to streamline enforcing it later, if there is any question or dispute.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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