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District of Columbia Advance Directives

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If you live in the District of Columbia, writing your Advance Directive (which in this district is specifically called a District of Columbia Declaration) could be tricky. Laws regarding Advance Directives differ from state to state, and given the size of Washington, D.C., it is possible that residents will seek or receive medical attention in a different state. A lawyer experienced in end-of-life issues can help ensure that your directive will be respected by any state in which you expect to receive medical care. Also, it is your responsibility to alert your doctors to the existence of your Advance Directive and to give them a copy for your medical records. It is not required that your directive be notarized in Washington, D.C. However you must still have witnesses sign and date the document in order for it to be legal. Neither of your witnesses can be related to you through blood, adoption, or marriage and neither can be inheritors of your estate. Like nearby Delaware, you must have an ombudsman or patient advocate as a witness if you live in an intermediate care facility.