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Quickly create your Alabama health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive forms in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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Alabama health care directive options to suit your needs

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

$49
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase

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Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$189
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

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Customized Alabama living wills fast

If you ever become incapacitated and unable to make your own health care decisions, your loved ones and health care providers may not know what treatment choices to make on your behalf. A health care directive, sometimes referred to as an advance directive for health care, is a legal document you can use to make your end-of-life medical treatment preferences clear. With a health care directive, you can relieve your loved ones from potentially agonizing over difficult treatment choices for you in the future.

Kimberly_Lekman_image

Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

Reviewed by:

John Devendorf, Esq.

Contributing Author

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to make my Alabama health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

Decide on your medical preferences

In your health care directive, also sometimes known as a living will or an advance directive for health care or health care directive in Alabama, you will make decisions on a variety of hypothetical medical circumstances. You will need to decide whether you would want to undergo life-sustaining treatment if you become terminally ill. If you are uncertain about these important decisions, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your health care provider and trusted family members.

Choose your health care proxy

You have the option of naming a health care proxy in your health care directive or on a separate document. With a health care proxy designation, you name a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. Under Alabama law, the health care proxy’s duty is to make medical care choices in accordance with the specific instructions in your living will. You should choose someone you trust who knows you and your personal beliefs well for this role.

Sign your health care directive

You must sign your health care directive or direct someone to sign it for you. There should be at least two witnesses present when you sign. The witnesses must not be relatives, your health care proxy, or beneficiaries to your will. If someone signed your health care directive on your behalf, this person does not count as a witness either. Anyone who is responsible for paying your health care bills cannot be a witness. You may need to ask a notary, attorney, or others to act as your health care directive witnesses.

Distribute and store your health care directive

It’s important that your health care proxy and other family members know about your health care directive and where to find it. You should also give copies of your health care directive to your health care proxy, your doctors, and any other health agencies you use. You could also store your health care directive with one of several online living will registries. These registries allow medical professionals to access your health care directive in the case of an emergency.

Update your health care directive

You should update your health care directive periodically. A good rule of thumb is to review your health care directive at least every few years. There are also certain life circumstances that may make you rethink your choices. If you have received a new diagnosis, have gone through a divorce, or have simply had a change of heart, you should create an updated health care directive to reflect your new situation.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
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Ready to start your Alabama health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Alabama health care directive frequently asked questions

There are a few standard requirements that you must fulfill in order to create a valid Alabama health care directive:

  • You must be a competent adult, age 19 or older.
  • The health care directive must be in writing
  • The health care directive must be in substantially the same form as the statutory health care directive form. However, it does not need to be exactly the same and can include additional specific directions.
  • You need to sign and date the health care directive or direct someone to sign and date it for you.
  • There must be at least two witnesses present when you sign your health care directive. They must be at least 19 years old.

The following people cannot be your health care directive witnesses under Alabama law:

  • Relatives
  • Anyone who stands to inherit from you
  • Anyone who is financially responsible for your healthcare
  • Your health care proxy
  • If someone signed your health care directive for you, this person does not qualify as one of the required witnesses either.

This list may eliminate most of the people in your close inner circle. You may need to ask friends, coworkers, your attorney, a notary public, or other community members to do so.

A health care directive only takes effect in the event that you become seriously ill or injured. Alabama law contains specific additional criteria before the health care directive goes into effect. The laws state that a health care directive becomes effective when both of the following are true:

  1. The attending medical doctor determines that the patient is no longer able to understand and direct their medical treatment choices.
  2. The attending medical doctor and another physician have personally examined the patient. After the examination, they diagnose the patient with a terminal illness, terminal injury, or a state of permanent unconsciousness.

Note that under Alabama law, a health care directive is not effective during pregnancy.

Yes, a health care directive that you created in another state and in accordance with that state’s laws is valid under Alabama law. But if you have moved to Alabama from another state, it is a good idea to create a health care directive that is customized to Alabama law. This will eliminate the risk that any provisions in your out-of-state health care directive could be prohibited in Alabama. With FindLaw, you can create a health care directive tailored to Alabama law from the convenience of home.

A divorce does not completely invalidate an Alabama health care directive. But if you named your former spouse as your health care proxy, a divorce revokes this provision.

If you have gone through a divorce, it’s a good idea to create a new health care directive. This way, you can make your updated wishes clear and choose a new health care proxy. If you want to keep your former spouse as your health care proxy, you will need a new health care directive to make it clear that this is really your preference despite the divorce.

In Alabama, your health care proxy’s decisions can take precedence over your health care directive on end-of-life and life-sustaining treatments. If you would prefer that your health care directive would govern in this situation, that needs to be clear in the document itself.

You can revoke your Alabama health care directive in a few ways:

  • Make a written revocation of your health care directive
  • Make a verbal revocation of your health care directive. There must be at least one witness age 19 or older to your verbal revocation. They must then sign and date a written confirmation of your revocation.
  • Tear, burn, obliterate, or otherwise physically destroy the health care directive with intention to revoke.

When you revoke a health care directive, you should let your family members and health care proxy know about it. If you stored your health care directive with a health care directive registry, you should then contact them to remove your revoked health care directive. After revoking your health care directive, you should consider creating a new one that reflects your new medical care preferences.

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