Can health care surrogate and living will be combined into one document?


A health care surrogate and a living can be combined into one document. However, we don't do it because who you choose for each role may be different.


Chrissy: You do those two documents as separate, health care surrogate and a living will, and this texter is just indicating that, yes, those could be combined, and we know that and we do see that. Sometimes they are combined, which is perfectly fine.

The reason why I know that and I think it was really a great idea on your part to separate the two of them. I know you've done that now for quite some time and that is because -- and I think our clients appreciate this -- is that where a health care surrogate could be used for many years because somebody may have Alzheimer's and the caregiver who's ever in charge needs to use that document for many years for their healthcare. A living will is only going to be used for that specific end of life situation, so it's not going to be used for a long period of time.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, here's another reason why I separate them. Let's say that I got a married couple or single person, right? They got three kids. They may say, "You know what? We want our daughter alone to make health care decisions for us, but when it comes down to a living will, pull the plug, we want all three of our kids making that decision, maybe by unanimous or maybe by majority."

Chrissy: Exactly.

Attorney Tom Olsen: The reason not to combine them is that you may have different choices for each one of those documents.

Chrissy: Exactly. Well, great point.