Living Will

A standardized form for the Colorado Living Will is provided in this booklet (click to view or download).

  • In Colorado, the Living Will is called the “Declaration as to Medical Treatment.” It tells your doctor what to do about artificial life-support measures if you have a terminal illness and are unable to speak for yourself, or you are in a “persistent vegetative state” (a state of permanent unconsciousness involving massive brain damage but not “brain death”).

Medical-Team

  • In Colorado, your Living Will does not go into effect until 48 hours after two doctors agree in writing that you have a terminal condition and are unable to speak for yourself or that you are in a persistent vegetative state.
  • In these circumstances, your Living Will directs your doctors to continue or discontinue, as you specified in the document, life-sustaining procedures, artificial nutrition, and artificial hydration.
  • In the Living Will document, you can list people you want to be kept informed of your condition and the doctors’ certification of terminal illness or persistent vegetative state.
  • You may also detail other medical instructions, but these instructions will only be followed when your Living Will goes into effect (that is, after the doctors’ certification).
  • You do not need an attorney or a doctor to complete a Living Will, but you do need two witnesses. The witnesses cannot be your healthcare providers, an employee of your healthcare provider, your creditors, or anyone likely to inherit property from you. Your witnesses may be other patients or residents in the facility where you are receiving care, as long as they are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent.
  • A notary’s signature and seal is a good idea but not required.
  • A Living Will is not the same as a regular will (“Last Will and Testament”) or a Living Trust, which refer to possessions and property. A Living Will only provides instructions on medical treatment, not the distribution or disposal of your property.

Simple Living Will form with updates according to 2010 Living Will revisions. Summary of revisions to the Living Will form from 2010 Colorado Legislative session.