Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana that you can download by clicking the button below:


(Source: Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center)

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 Louisiana, Death With Dignity legislation has not been passed nor submitted under a House or Senate bill.

Designated Funeral Agent

Louisiana 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.

In Louisiana, the wishes of the deceased will prevail if written and notarized.

The appointment of a designated funeral agent will override the next-of-kin's usual authority and let the citizen designate whom he/she wants to control the disposition of his body.

Financial Assistance

Louisiana does not provide burial assistance. The burden of indigent deaths, those with no estate and no relatives, belongs to the locality of the deceased.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Louisiana is one of 10 states that does not allow the family all power in home funerals or has conflicting law, necessitating the use of a funeral director for some purposes. Louisiana mandates funeral director involvement in obtaining all necessary permits and funeral director presence at the final disposition of the body. 

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on home funeral issues in Louisiana.

Personal Preference Law

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

In Louisiana, there is not a law obligating your survivors to follow your personal preferences. However, we always recommend outlining your funeral preference in writing and sharing them with your designated funeral agent, next-of-kin, or spouse, giving you the best chance of having them seen through or upheld in the courts.