Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Doc? No

There is a single Advance Directive form for Ohio that you can download by clicking below:


(Source: Ohio Hospital Association)

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

Designated Funeral Agent

Ohio 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.

Ohio House Bill 426 section 2108.72 states that an individual can create a "Written declaration of assignment... to willfully and voluntarily appoint a representative to have the declarant's right of disposition for the declarant's body upon the declarant's death." 

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

While the state of Ohio may not provide assistance for indigent burials or low income funerals, the counties and municipalities of Ohio do. Contact your local county or city to determine their procedure.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Ohio. 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 Ohio 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 [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 Ohio, your personal preferences should be shared with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent.