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

In Alaska, you must sign your health care directive in front of two witnesses or a notary.

In Alaska, your living will and medical power of attorney  are combined into a single form called an advance health care directive.  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 Alaska Advance Directive in Front of Two Witnesses or a Notary

After you create your advance directive, you must sign your document in front of two adult witnesses or have it notarized. However, if you grant your agent power to direct your burial or cremation, you must have your document notarized -- witnessing is not sufficient.  

If you choose to have the document witnessed, neither of your witnesses may be:

  • your health care agent (the person you named to make health care decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself)
  • your health care provider
  • an employee of your health care provider, or
  • an employee of the health care institution or health care facility where you are receiving health care.

In addition, at least one of your witnesses must not be related to you by blood, marriage or adoption -- and must not be entitled to any part of your estate under a will or codicil (amendment to a will).

What to Do With Your Signed Advance Directive

After having your document witnessed or notarized, it is legally valid. Keep the original in your files and give a copy to your health care agent, 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 agent 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 Alaska's Advance Health Care Directives.

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

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