Do I Need to Have My Alabama Living Will Witnessed or Notarized?

In Alabama, you must have your health care directive witnessed by two people.

In Alabama, your living will and medical power of attorney is combined into a single form called an advance directive for health care.  You can use your advance directive to document your health care wishes and to name a trusted person to make health care decisions for you when you cannot make those decisions for yourself.

Sign Your Alabama Advance Directive in Front of Two Witnesses

After you create your advance directive, you must sign your document and have it witnessed by two people. It does not need to be notarized. Neither of your witnesses may be:

  • under the age of 19
  • your health care proxy (the person you named to make health care decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself)
  • the person who signed your advance directive for you, if you were unable to sign it yourself
  • related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
  • entitled to any portion of your estate by operation of law or under
  • your will, or
  • directly financially responsible for your medical care.

If you use your advance directive to give your health care proxy the power to direct your burial or cremation, you should also have the document notarized.

What to Do After Finalizing Your Advance Directive

After your witnesses sign your document, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care proxy, if you named one. To ensure that you get the health care that you want, it’s a good idea to make your wishes widely known. So, you might also consider giving copies of your advance directive to your physician, your hospital, your HMO or other insurance plan, and trusted family members and friends.

Review your document every few years to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Also, consider making new documents if you move to another state, get married or divorced, or if your health care proxy is no longer able to supervise your wishes.

Your properly finalized document will stay in effect until you revoke it, if you ever choose to do so. You can revoke your document at any time. The best way to revoke your advance directive is to do it in writing. If possible, also collect and tear up all copies that you may have distributed to others. Finally, tell everyone who knows about your advance directive that you have revoked it.

Learn More

Learn more about Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney.

Learn more about Alabama’s Advance Directives for Health Care.

When you make an advance directive for health care with Quicken WillMaker Plus, it will conform to all of Alabama’s health care directive laws and it will print with plain English instructions that detail how to make it legal.  

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