Non-Legal Advice about legal documents that can aide in a better death

What do you need in Indiana to die well and let those helping make choices feel empowered and confident?

What is an Advance Directive? An advance directive is a document or verbal statement in which an adult person (18 years or older) states choices for accepting or refusing medical treatment, or names someone who should make treatment choices if the person loses decision making capacity

Things to know about Advance Directives in Indiana:

  • An Advance Directive can take many forms. Most common is lawyer preparation, online form completion, or a digital download like “Make Death Great Again” from Cradling the Cusp
  • Information needed: what are your goals? Do you want life prolonging treatment? Do you want pain reduction if that sacrifices your consciousness | cognition? What should a person do with your body? How do you want to be remembered? (If you have previous identities which family may chose to celebrate at your funeral, this needs to be explicitly stated as coroners | priests | funeral directors MUST take guidance from the Power of Attorney or the defaulted choice-maker which may be an unaffirming person if left unplanned. Who makes these choices if you cannot? Do they know they are responsible AND what you hope for?
  • 2 witnesses or a Notary are required to sign your Advance Directive
  • NO ONE can override your Advance Directive except you! You can change your mind, but no one can override your choices about how you die or the after-death planning process
  • If you have no Advance Directive the order of decision-making will be (spouse |any adult child | parent)
  • A handwritten will without witness signatures is not recognized in Indiana

Appointment of a Healthcare Representative this is the person who can assist with making medical decisions for you at the time that you are not able to any longer. The person will reference any forms you have completed from the following list and any other guidance provided to ensure your wishes | needs | and quality of death are what you want

Living Will Declaration will review your property, trusts, finances, inheritance, guardianship of children | pets, and who will end up as the executor of your estate and with your belongings

Life Prolonging Procedures Declaration this will ensure that your medical team understands what you are expecting from your end of life experience and whether you are hoping for ways to prolong life even if you will not recover from terminal illness or the end of life you are in. This form is vital if you want to ensure medical professionals stop treatment at the time which medications | treatments are only slowing the dying process

Physician Scope of Treatment (POST) Form a practical and actionable list of treatments and interventions which can be requested or terminated based on your end of life wishes

Psychiatric Advance Directive is a form designed to support wishes and needs in the event of a mental health emergency and includes who and how choices are made on your behalf

Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order this is a form for any event where the heart | lungs stop outside of a hospital and you do not want to be resuscitated

Other Indiana Specific notables:

  • You can apply for a family cemetery plot license at the County Clerks office for burials on land you | family owns
  • Most inheritance enters probate prior to being decided especially if there is no will for the deceased
  • There are no specified laws on after-death body care that is mandated. Options range widely still.
  • If you are a trans | gnc person in Marion County, please review my next post for Name | Gender Marker change forms and completion checklist including financial waiver and record sealing petitions- this process while daunting is a spectacular way to aid in the process of having a good death – forms and checklist are free- access to this service is life-saving care

“protect ya neck”

Wu Tang Clan

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