how to fill out living will and power of attorney

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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how to fill out living will and power of attorney

My mother is in the hospital in Flagstaff, Az and cannot make
medical decisions on her own and she does not have a living
will or a power of attorney document. How can I get these
forms filled out to make her medical decisions?

Asked on July 26, 2019 under Estate Planning, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she is mentally competent, she can sign the forms in front of the appropriate witnesses: the best way to get good forms (ones that meet your state's requirements) and make sure that they are executed (signed) and witnessed property is to hire an attorney to help: the lawyer can draft the forms to your mother's needs or wishes, then arrange for the signing and witnessing. If you and/or your mother cannot afford an attorney, download forms from the internet (they can be easily "Googled") and look up the rules for how they must be signed in your state and make sure you follow those rules excactly. 
If you mother is not mentally competent, she cannot create a living will or power of attorney--only mentally competent people can do this. You'd have to bring a legal action to have her officially declared competent and have yourself appointed her legal guardian. This is not an easy or simple legal action to bring; consult with an elder law attorney.

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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