Oregon 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 Oregon 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? Yes

  • 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 Oregon that you can download by clicking the button below:


(Source: Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services)

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 Oregon, Death With Dignity legislation was approved in 1994 and went into effect in 1997. 

Designated Funeral Agent

Oregon 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.

Oregon law ORS 97.130 states that "any individual of sound mind who is 18 years of age or older, by completion of a written signed instrument...may direct any lawful manner of disposition of the individual's remains."

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.

A cremation authorization form can be found below.


(Source: Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board)

Financial Assistance

The state of Oregon, in collaboration with the Oregon Mortuary & Cemetery Board, maintains the Indigent Disposition Program which seeks to provide licensed funeral homes with reimbursement for services for the disposition of unclaimed indigent bodies. This is a limited fund created to offset the costs incurred in providing final disposition.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Oregon. 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 Oregon.

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 Oregon, your personal preferences are upheld under Oregon Revised Statutes, 97.130. Be sure to document and share with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent your funeral preferences.