Advance Health Care Directive Witnesses?

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Advance Health Care Directive Witnesses?

I reside in Florida and have filled out an Advance Health Care Directive. There
is a place for two signature witnesses and/or a notary public. I don’t know two
people who can sign, however, I can easily get it notarized. Everything I read
says Florida doesn’t require it be notarized – just that it be witnessed by two
individuals. But my question is – will the state recognize a notary instead of
individuals? Thanks in advance.

Asked on October 12, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, the state will not: the requirement for a witness is separate and distinct from the requirement for a notary and is absolute--if not properly witnessed, it is in effective. It does not have to be personal friends or family, however: coworkers, neighbors, employees of your accountant or attorney, staff or employees from your building or community, people from some group or oganization or church to which you belong, etc. will do. All they have to be is 18 years old or older and mentally competent. Then ideally, have a notary appear at the signing and witnessing and notarize, to make the Directive "self proving"--i.e. to streamline enforcing it later, if there is any question or dispute.


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