Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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? Yes*

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

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

* Document can have either notarization OR witnesses 

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


(Source: Hawaii Hospice and Palliative Care Organization)

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 Hawaii, Death With Dignity legislation has been submitted under Hawaii House Bill 201

Designated Funeral Agent

Hawaii 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.

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

Eligibility for the death payments program shall be limited to: (1) Medical or financial assistance recipients who were residents of the State at the time of death; or (2) Unclaimed bodies.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Homes funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Hawaii. 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 Hawaii. 

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 2013 Hawaii adopted a combined law that allows for the indication of personal preferences and appointing a designated agent. Your personal preferences should be written and shared with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent.