New Jersey Health Care Directives and Living Wills in Minutes
Working with FindLaw, experienced attorneys have created New Jersey health care directive and living will forms that you can complete quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home. With FindLaw’s easy process, it only takes about 30 minutes to get your customized, attorney-approved New Jersey living will.
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Reliable, Attorney-Approved New Jersey Health Care Directives and Living Wills
In the event that you ever become seriously ill or injured, you may be unable to make your own treatment decisions. If you do not have a health care directive and living will in place, your loved ones and doctors may then make medical choices on your behalf that you would not have wanted. To avoid this, you can create a living will that spells out your treatment wishes. With a health care directive and living will, you can make your own choices on such issues as life support, artificial hydration, artificial nutrition, and any other medical issues you feel strongly about.
New Jersey Health Care Directive and Living Will Options for Everyone
Health Care Directive & Living Will
For One Person
A do-it-yourself health care directive & living will that’s easy to personalize.
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Estate Planning Package
For One Person
All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
How It Works
Create your health care directive & living will in under an hour.
Answer Some Questions
Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy and which medical treatments you would request or refuse.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
Complete Your Document
Once you answer the relevant questions, we do the hard part and create your unique document.
Sign & Make It Legal
Sign your document according to the instructions. Keep the signed form, and give a copy to your doctors and agent/proxy.
What’s Next To Make My New Jersey Health Care Directive and Living Will Valid?
Validate your New Jersey health care directive and living will by following these steps: See full process
Make decisions on potential health care issues.
A health care directive and living will is a type of advance health care directive (“advance directive“). You (the “declarant”) can use your living will to request or refuse certain future treatments. Your health care providers will then look to your living will for guidance when administering treatments.
These treatments include procedures such as artificial hydration and nutrition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, artificial respiration, and more. You also need to consider whether you would request or refuse life-prolonging procedures that would only delay the natural dying process. If there are other medical procedures that you would find unacceptable, you should make this clear in your living will.
These issues can be unpleasant to consider. But it can give you peace of mind to know that you have made your choices clear in advance of medical incapacity. By creating a health care directive and living will, you can potentially spare your loved ones from conflicts over your future medical treatments.
Choose your health care representative.
In New Jersey, you have the option of naming a trusted person as your health care representative. This person would make health care decisions for you in case you become unable to. The document you would use to name your health care representative is called a durable power of attorney for health care. This is another type of advance directive, in addition to a health care directive and living will.
You are under no obligation to name a health care representative, but you may want to. Having a health care representative means that you have a trusted person ready to advocate for your wishes in the event that you become unable to do so.
When selecting a health care representative, you should choose someone who knows you well and understands your health care wishes. Many people choose a spouse, adult child, sibling, or parent for this role. The person you choose should be capable of being assertive with your doctors and family to advocate for your choices. Another consideration is proximity. You should think about whether your representative will be available and capable of being at your side promptly at your time of need.
Under New Jersey’s Advance Directives for Health Care Act, there are certain limitations on your choice of health care representative. You may not choose an administrator, operator, or employee of a health care institution where you receive care. However, this restriction does not apply to anyone related to you by blood, marriage, adoption, or domestic partnership.
Before you commit to a health care representative, you should talk it over with them. You need to make sure they understand your wishes and are willing to take on this important responsibility.
Sign your document.
According to New Jersey law, you must sign and date your health care directive and living will. If you are unable to sign, you may direct someone to do so for you.
You must also fulfill the witnessing requirement. To do this, you have two options:
- You may sign your advance directives in front of a notary public, attorney, or other individual who is licensed to take oaths; or
- You may sign in front of two adult witnesses. They must then sign their names, confirming that you are signing voluntarily, and that you are of sound mind.
You should be aware that if you named a health care representative, this person may not be a witness to your living will.
Distribute your advance directives.
After you have signed your advance directives, you need to make sure they get into the right hands. You should give copies to your health care representative, your physician, and your loved ones. It’s a good idea to store an extra copy in a safe place that a trusted loved one can access in case of an emergency situation.
Update your advance directives.
You should review your advance directives from time to time to make sure that they continue to reflect your wishes. A good rule of thumb is to review them every few years at least. You may need to update them sooner if you have gone through major life changes. The type of circumstances that may make you reconsider your advance directives include:
- A change in your medical condition
- Advances in medical technology
- An interstate move
- A divorce
All of these situations could make you rethink your health care directive and living will decisions or your choice of health care representative. In the case of a divorce, you may need to choose a new health care representative to replace your former spouse.
You May Want to Speak With a Lawyer if:
- Your family disagrees with your medical choices
- You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
- You have questions about life prolonging measures
- You want legal review of your completed document
Ready to get started on Your New Jersey healthcare directive & living will? It’s free to start.Create My Form
New Jersey Health Care Directive and Living Will FAQs
Although wills and living wills have confusingly similar names, these legal documents have very different functions. A health care directive and living will is a document you can use to make your own health care choices in advance. In your living will, you can spell out which medical procedures you would accept or refuse in the event that you lose the capacity to understand your options and make your own decisions.
A last will and testament (a “will”) is a key estate planning document. Through a will, you can provide for the distribution of your assets. If you have minor children, you can name trusted guardians for them in your will. But you cannot use a will to make medical decisions. To make health care choices in advance of medical incapacity, you need to sign a living will.
Yes, your out-of-state or foreign advance directives are valid in New Jersey if they comply with that state or country’s laws, or with New Jersey’s laws. However, the advance directives must not be contrary to New Jersey’s public policy.
If you have permanently relocated to New Jersey, it’s a good time to update your advance directives. This will ensure that they agree with New Jersey public policy, and that they reflect your current wishes. You can complete a New Jersey living will through FindLaw for $35, from anywhere that is convenient to you. FindLaw’s guided process is easy, and it only takes about half an hour.
To make your New Jersey living will a valid legal document, you must fulfill certain basic conditions:
- You must be an adult with the mental capacity to execute a health care directive and living will.
- You must sign and date the document or direct someone to do so for you.
- Your living will must be witnessed.
To satisfy the witnessing requirement, you have a couple of options. You can sign the document in front of a notary public, an attorney, or other individual authorized to take oaths. Alternatively, you can gather two adult witnesses who must sign your living will to confirm that you are signing voluntarily and that you are of sound mind.
If you choose to gather witnesses, you should be aware that you may not use your health care representative as a witness.
According to New Jersey’s health care statutes, a health care directive and living will only becomes effective if your attending physician concludes that you cannot give informed consent on a certain health care decision. The physician must then put this determination into writing and enter it into your medical record. Another physician must then confirm this determination in writing. The exception to this would be if the incapacity is obvious, and the physician and health care representative both agree about that.
Of course, your health care professionals cannot honor the terms of your living will if they are not in possession of it. If you are hospitalized, you should make sure that your attending physician or health care institution has a copy of your living will at hand.
New Jersey law contains special provisions regarding the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatments. Under these rules, your health care providers can legally withhold life-sustaining procedures under certain defined medical conditions. They may withhold such procedures according to the instructions in your advance directives when one of the following is true:
- The life-sustaining procedure is experimental and unproven, not effective, or only prolongs the natural dying process
- Your attending physician and another qualified doctor determine that there is a terminal condition or permanent unconsciousness
- You have a serious, irreversible illness and, due to this condition, the life-prolonging treatment would be more harmful than helpful
With these rules in mind, it is clear that the provisions in your health care directive and living will regarding end-of-life treatment only become operative in the event of severe illness or injury with little hope of recovery.
Under New Jersey health care laws, you can change your advance directives (including your health care directive and living will) by creating new ones. You should use the same signing and witnessing formalities as you used for your original documents.
There are a couple of ways to revoke your advance directives in the state of New Jersey. You can perform a revocation by:
- Notifying your health care representative, nurse, physician, a witness, or another physician of your intention to revoke. This notification can be verbal, written, or otherwise communicates your intention to revoke.
- Executing a new advance directive that revokes the prior one. You can create a new living will with FindLaw from any location that’s convenient to you, and it only takes about half an hour.
Any time you change or revoke your advance directives, you should be sure to inform the right people about the changes. You should tell your health care providers immediately if you revoke your health care directive and living will. They should be well informed of your current medical care wishes.
It’s important that you provide your health care representative with a copy of your modified documents too. If you have substantially changed your treatment preferences, they will need to know about this change so that they can act on it.
Finally, don’t forget to let your loved ones know about your modified advance directives. By keeping the right people informed, you can rest easy knowing that you have made your medical choices known.
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