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Living Wills and Medical Directives in Kentucky

What Are Living Wills and Advance Directives?

Legal documents that allow you to plan and communicate end-of-life issues or decisions in case you are unable to communicate or make your own decisions, such as:


    Allows you to state your wishes concerning medical care and treatment in the event you develop a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious and can no longer make your own medical decisions.


    Allows you to appoint a person to make medical and healthcare decisions on your behalf any time you are unable to make your own decisions.

Living Will Allows You to Leave Instructions In 4 Important Areas:

  • Designate/Appoint a Healthcare Power of Attorney/Surrogate/Agent
  • Refuse or Request life prolonging treatment
  • Refuse or Request artificial feeding or hydration (feeding tube)
  • Express your wishes regarding organ and body donation

Who Should You Appoint as Your Agent in a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

  • Remember that person you name will have the power to make decisions about your medical care or treatment if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
  • Choose a person who can best make medical and health care decisions for you.
  • This person should understand your wishes and desires and be willing to accept the responsibility of making medical/healthcare decisions for you.
  • Pick a spouse, sibling, adult child, or close friend who you trust to make these decisions for you.
  • Talk with the person you pick and tell them how you feel about these issues.
  • Pick a back-up person

What If You Change Your Mind?

  • You may revoke your Living Will and Health care POA
  • Sign and date a written revocation
  • Orally tell your family/friends that you revoked it
  • Notify your doctor that you revoked it
  • Destroy the original or any copies of the Living Will or POA

Other Issues You Should Know About Living Wills

  • You must be 18 years old to execute a Living Will
  • The effectiveness of a Living Will is suspended during pregnancy
  • Law requires that the Living Will be signed by you in the presence of 2 witnesses and that your signature be witnessed by a notary public