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Colorado Advance Directive

Colorado Advance Directive


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

January 3, 2023

9 Mins


When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical POA, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive. 

An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc. in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Colorado.  

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor (maker of Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes/by any adult on the grantor’s behalf
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: No
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: No
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 2 (Advance Directive Form + Organ Donation Form) 
  • Other names for a Living Will: Declaration
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney: Medical Durable Power of attorney
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues: No

*Note: The person signing on your behalf, at your direction, cannot be

 • A physician or his  employee or an employee of a healthcare facility in which you are a patient when you sign your document, 

• A person who claims against your estate or entitles any portion of your estate.

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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses in the Colorado Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Colorado if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, &
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Note: Your witnesses cannot be: 

  • your healthcare proxy/agent,
  • a person signing the document at your direction,
  • a person claims/entitled to a share in the estate on your death, &
  • the physician or his employee or an employee of a healthcare facility in which you are a patient when you sign your Advance Directive.

Note: Colorado state laws require the witnesses to sign the form and give in writing their declaration.

Advance Directive Colorado

Who can be your Proxy in the Colorado Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Colorado if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, &
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Who cannot be your Proxy/Agent:

  • your supervising health care provider, 
  •  if you are receiving care at a community care facility/residential care facility then its operator or its employee.
  •  if you are receiving care  at a health care institution then its employee.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Colorado?

In Colorado, an Advance Directive doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

Note: Your Colorado Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency unless you become incapacitated to understand and communicate your wishes and consent.

Learn about the requirements of Colorado Last Will and Testament and Colorado Last Will and Testament Template.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Colorado Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation,
  • An oral revocation, &
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way.
  • Executing a new Advance Directive.

Note: The revocation of an Advance Directive will be effective when your doctor is notified.

The revocation  of the Proxy/Agent’s authority will be effective when the Proxy/Agent is notified.

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Colorado but once you have signed and witnessed/notarized it you have to resubmit a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Colorado rules for divorce after making your Advance Directive 

Divorce from the spouse will not make any effect on the validity of the Colorado Advance Directive unless the spouse was named under Section 1 of the form as the Proxy/Agent then you have to make changes and fill a new document of Advance Directive. The divorce or annulment of marriage or legal separation will revoke the Colorado Advance Directive with immediate effect.

Colorado rules for pregnancy after making your Advance Directive

A pregnant patient’s Arkansas Declaration will not be honored if it is possible that the fetus could develop to the point of live birth with continued application of life-sustaining treatment

Form 1: Sections of the Colorado Advance Directive Form

Section 1: Medical Durable Power of Attorney

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow.

On the left side, you will find a gray box that contains all the instructions that will help you in the application process. 

Colorado Advance Directive Sample Form


I, hereby (your name) appoint: 

(name of agent) (home address of agent) (work telephone number) (home telephone number) 

as my agent to make health care decisions for me if and when I do not have the capacity to make my own health care decisions. 

This gives my agent the power to consent to giving, withholding, or stopping any health care, treatment, service, or diagnostic procedure. 

My agent also has the authority to talk with health care personnel about my condition, access my medical records, get information, and sign forms necessary..


Section 2: Declaration (Living Will)

This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either: 

  • that you are terminally ill & to prolong artificially your life you would need artificial life-sustaining procedures or your death will occur with or without the use of life-sustaining procedures, or 
  • that you are in a persistent vegetative state.
Colorado Advance Directive Sample Form SECTION 2: DECLARATION I, , (name) being of sound mind and at least eighteen years of age, direct that my life shall not be artificially prolonged under the circumstances set forth below and hereby declare that: If at any time my attending physician and one other qualified physician certify in writing that: [ ] a. I have an injury, disease, or illness which is a terminal condition for which the administration of life-sustaining procedures will only serve to prolong the dying process and I am unable to make health care decisions, or [ ] b. I am in a persistent vegetative state, I direct that, in accordance with Colorado law, life-sustaining procedures shall be (Initial only the option that applies) (Initials) I direct that life-sustaining procedures shall be withdrawn and/or withheld pursuant to the terms of this declaration, it being understood that life-sustaining procedures shall not include any medical procedure or intervention for.. …..

Section 3: Execution

You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required.

Colorado Advance Directive Sample Form



Signature: Date: Address: 


[ ] I declare that the person who signed or acknowledged this document (“the patient”) is personally known to me, that he/she signed or acknowledged this Advance Medical Directive in my presence, and that he/she appears to be of sound mind and under no duress, fraud or undue influence. 

[ ] I did not sign this document for the patient. I am not the person appointed as the agent by this document…….. I have no claim on, nor am I entitled to, any portion of the patient’s estate. 

First Witness’ 

Signature Date Print Name 

Second Witness’ 


Form 2: Donations of Organs at death

Colorado Organ Donation Sample Form

Initial the line next to the statement below that best reflects your wishes. You do not have to initial any of the statements. If you do not initial any of the statements, your attorney for health care, proxy, or other agent, or your family, may have the authority to make a gift of all or part of your body under Colorado law. 

[ ] I do not want to make an organ or tissue donation, and I do not want my attorney for health care, proxy, or other agent or family to do so. 

[ ] I have already signed a written agreement or donor card regarding organ and tissue donation with the following individual or institution: 

Name of individual/institution: 

Pursuant to Colorado law, I hereby give, effective on my death: 

Any needed organ or parts. The following part or organs listed below:

 For (initial one): 

[ ] Any legally authorized purpose. 

[ ] Transplant or therapeutic purposes only….


Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Colorado advance directive need to be notarized?

Colorado requires neither witnesses nor notarization for the medical durable power of attorney. However, Colorado maintains an Advance Directive Registry. By filing your advance directive with the registry, your health care provider and loved ones may be able to find a copy of your directive in the event you are unable to provide one. 

How do you get a medical power of attorney in Colorado?

A medical power of attorney can be created with the help of your lawyer and while we encourage you to have the document signed by witnesses and notarized, this is not required in Colorado in order for the document to be legal.

What is a living will in Colorado?

A Living Will covers the administration, withholding, or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures when you have a terminal condition and are unconscious or otherwise incompetent.

Does a power of attorney need to be recorded in Colorado?

Colorado maintains an Advance Directive Registry. By filing your advance directive with the registry, your health care provider and loved ones may be able to find a copy of your directive in the event you are unable to provide one. you should also file a copy of your Advance Directive in the land records office (called the clerk and recorder's office in Colorado) in the county where you own real estate.

How do I write a living will in Colorado?

Anyone who is a minimum of 18 years of age, physically and mentally able to communicate her/his decisions, execute a document by getting it signed by 2 competent adult witnesses. Mind it, your witnesses cannot be your doctor or healthcare facility employee, a beneficiary of your estate & a creditor of your estate.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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