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Colorado Advance Directives

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To make your Advance Directive legally binding Colorado requires that the document be witnessed by two adults who can affirm that you are of sound mind and under no outside influence. These witnesses cannot be entitled to any part of your estate, they cannot be your healthcare provider or any other employee of your healthcare facility, and they cannot be a patient of your healthcare facility. Colorado alllows witnesses to sign the directive for you if you are unable to do so. If you wish, you may at any time revoke your Advance Directive by destroying the document and informing your doctor. If your doctor is not informed of this revocation and does not remove the directive from your medical record, it will still be followed if you become incapacitated. As in many states, Colorado has an exception to Advance Directives in the case of pregnant women. A pregnant patient whose fetus is viable and could be delivered healthily, must be given life-sustaining treatments regardless of what her Advance Directive may state.

In an Advance Directive, you may appoint a Healthcare Proxy: a family member or close friend who will make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so because you are terminally ill or enter a permanent vegetative state. While Colorado requires that the Healthcare Proxy be an adult at least 18 years old, there are few other restrictions. Your health care agent can even be an “attorney-in-fact.” Another aspect of Advance Directives particular to Colorado is that you can appoint not just a second but also a third alternative Healthcare Proxy. Power of proxy will proceed down the line if the current Healthcare Proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you. Your Healthcare Proxy may be changed by revoking the old Directive either verbally or in writing.