Do I need a “sound mind declaration” at the top of the living Will section of my advance directive?

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Do I need a “sound mind declaration” at the top of the living Will section of my advance directive?

According to a site I recently came across, I need to have a “sound mind declaration” at the top of my Living Will section if I write specific instructions using a separate sheet of paper. I had never heard of that before. Is it really necessary to do this in order for the living Will section to be valid? Talking to lawyers in my area has not been productive; most seem to be disinclined to do “just” an advance directive and would prefer to be retained for estate planning which I cannot afford.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that your local attorneys have left such a bad taste in your mouth, so to speak, and that you are left trying to figure it out all alone.  Although I am not familiar with California laws specifically, the "being of sound mind statement" is one of those standard lines that is a requirement carved out of case law to show that a person (at least at the outset) has the mental capacity to be making these decisions and a harder issue to challenge later on. I am going to give you a link to the California government website that gives you help with all of this.  Read the instructions carefully.  Good luck to you. http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/pdf/AHCDS1.pdf


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