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If I create a living will, should I still complete the Health Care Proxy Form?

Yes, you should still complete the Health Care Proxy Form. Due to the requirement for “clear and convincing evidence,” for the document to be valid, and the lack of a government-approved form or format, a living will can be hard to enforce if there is a question about whether the document truly reflects your wishes and you haven’t appointed someone to make decisions for you. It is also unlikely that medical providers will review a living will themselves unless there is no one available to make decisions for you, or if there is concern or contestation that the agent or surrogate making decisions for you is not acting based on your wishes and values.

Therefore, living wills are best created in addition to completing the Health Care Proxy Form. The living will can then serve as a guide for your health care agent, and as proof of your wishes in case any concern is raised about whether your agent is honoring them.

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