Colorado End of Life Guide

Advance Directives 

Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to make known your end-of-life care ahead of time. The state of Colorado recognizes your right to decide the terms of your own medical treatment and to assign a person to make those decisions when you are not able to do so. 

Here are some important questions to consider before beginning this process:

  • Is this document(s) state specific? No

  • Does this document(s) need to be notarized? No

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 2

  • Can you legally use Aging With Dignity's 5 Wishes DocYes

  • There is a single Advance Directive form for Colorado that you can download by clicking the button below:


(Source: Colorado Advance Directive Consortium)

Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity laws allow the dying more control of their death and end-of-life decisions. These laws allow terminally-ill, able-minded state residents to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their death.

 In Colorado, Proposition 106, the Colorado End of Life Options Act passed on November 8, 2016.

Designated Funeral Agent

Colorado law supports the appointment of a designated funeral agent to follow through on your written personal preferences (see below) or make funeral arrangements on your behalf if no written preferences are indicated.

Colorado law requires the wishes to be written down, signed and dated. It does not have to be on a state-specific document to be valid. It also does not require witnesses or notarization.


Financial Assistance

The state of Colorado does not provide burial or funeral assistance. Recipients of MedicAid or Social Security may be eligible for assistance through their municipality. Eligible MedicAid and SSI recipients may be entitled to up to $1,000 in assistance.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in California. Your family or appointed agent may care for the deceased and handle all your funeral arrangements and necessary paperwork (permits and certificates) without a funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on how to navigate home funerals in Colorado and when it is required to involve a licensed funeral director.

Personal Preference Law

Personal preference laws for body disposition obligate your survivors to follow your written personal preferences. This often goes hand-in-hand with designating a funeral agent to follow through with your funeral or body disposition preferences. 

In Colorado, your personal preferences in a written format, which can be in the Advance Directive or Designated Funeral Agent forms, and shared with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent.