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Quickly create your Alaska 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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Get a reliable Alaska health care directive without needing to leave home

If you ever become seriously ill and unable to make your own health care decisions, your family and doctors may not know what medical treatment choices to make on your behalf. Through a health care directive, also known as an advance health care directive in Alaska, you can make your own medical choices in advance and name a health care agent to carry out your wishes. By making your choices clear you can spare your loved ones from having to make difficult medical treatment decisions for you.

 

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Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

Reviewed by:

John Devendorf, Esq.

Contributing Author

Alaska health care directive options for everyone

Health Care Directive

For One Person

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

$39
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

$135
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

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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This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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

Make decisions about your health care

A health care directive is a type of legal document called an advance health care directive (or “advance directive“). It allows you to make advance decisions on health care issues in case you ever become medically incapacitated and unable to make informed choices. Under those circumstances, your health care team would be bound by the instructions in your health care directive. They would follow those provisions to decide whether to administer or withhold certain treatments.

In your health care directive, you may want to make choices about whether you would want to receive life support treatment in the event that you were terminally ill. This would include artificial nutrition, hydration, and breathing machines. These choices are highly personal and can be difficult to decide on as hypotheticals. If you have difficulty with these decisions, you should consider discussing them with your doctor or your loved ones.

Choose a health care agent

In Alaska, you have the option of naming a health care agent through a durable power of attorney for health care (a “POA”). A POA is another type of advance health care directive that works together with a health care directive. Through a POA, you can choose a trusted person to carry out the terms of your health care directive and make medical decisions on your behalf. This person is often referred to as a health care agent or a health care proxy.

When choosing a health care agent, make sure you pick someone who knows you well. You should talk to them to make sure they are willing to take on this responsibility, and that they are comfortable carrying out your wishes. You should not choose someone who owns or works at a health care facility where you receive care. The exception to this rule would be if the individual is a relative of yours.

Sign your health care directive

You should sign and date your health care directive and your POA in the presence of two witnesses who you know personally. The witnesses should also sign. According to title 13 of the Alaska statutes, there are certain restrictions on who can witness your POA. The following people should not act as your witnesses:

  • Anyone who is involved with providing your health care
  • Any employee of your healthcare provider
  • Your health care agent
  • Your relatives
  • Anyone who would receive an inheritance from you

If you have trouble gathering witnesses for your advance directives, you may sign your health care directive in front of a notary public instead.

There are more lenient signature requirements for a health care directive that do not contain a power of attorney designation. But it’s a good idea to follow the signature requirements above for all Alaska advance directive forms. These requirements help to prevent conflicts of interest and they demonstrate the authenticity of your documents.

Distribute your health care directive

After signing your health care directive, you should provide a copy of it to your health care agent. Make sure to distribute copies to your loved ones too, just in case. If you are hospitalized or preparing for a procedure, you should let your health care provider know about your health care directive and give them a copy.

As a contingency plan, you could think about depositing your advance directives with an online living will registry. These services allow medical professionals to access your health care directive electronically in the case of an emergency.

Update your health care directive

A good rule of thumb is to review your advance directives at least every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date. You should also review and revise your advance directives whenever a major life event occurs. If you have gone through a divorce, received a new diagnosis, completed an out-of-state move, or experienced any other major changes, you should take a fresh look at your documents. This will help to ensure that your advance directives reflect your current wishes.

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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Frequently asked questions about Alaska health care directives

If your health care directive includes a durable power of attorney for healthcare, it must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must sign and date the health care directive, and the Power of Attorney (POA).
  • You should have two witnesses to your advance directives or you should notarize them.

Your witnesses should sign your advance directives after watching you sign. There are a number of restrictions on who may act as a witness for this purpose. These restrictions are covered in detail in the steps above. Generally, your witnesses may not be relatives, health care providers, or anyone who may receive an inheritance from you.

Alaska law does not contain signature or witnessing requirements for a health care directive without a POA. But it is best to follow the above signature requirements for all advance directives. This can help to avoid any hesitancy by your health care providers to act according to your wishes.

Yes, a health care directive from another state is valid in Alaska if it complies with that state’s laws and Alaska’s laws.

Although your out-of-state health care directive might be valid in Alaska, you should consider updating your estate plan (include your advance directives) when you move. This will help to ensure that your health care directive is current and follows Alaska’s laws. You can create a personalized health care directive that’s customized to Alaska law with FindLaw from the comfort of home.

No, there is no requirement that you create a durable power of attorney (POA) for health care. A POA allows you to designate a trusted person as your health care agent. This person would make medical decisions for you if you become medically unable to make them for yourself.

If you do not choose a health care agent through a POA, somebody may be chosen for you. Under Alaska law, your spouse will be named as your healthcare surrogate if you did not name a healthcare agent yourself. If you are separated or unmarried, the following people may be chosen as your healthcare surrogate, in this order:

  1. Your adult child
  2. Your parent
  3. An adult sibling

If none of these people are available, an adult who shows particular care and concern for you may act as your surrogate and make decisions for you. You can avoid these default state rules on healthcare surrogates if you choose a health care agent through a POA.

A divorce or separation does not revoke your entire health care directive. However, if you named your former spouse as your health care agent, this appointment will be revoked by divorce, separation, or annulment. The exception to this would be if your living will specifies otherwise.

If you have gone through a divorce, you should consider revising your health care directive along with the rest of your estate plan. In the case of your health care directive, you may want to name a new health care agent. In the case of your will, you may need to add or remove beneficiaries as a result of your divorce.

If you create your health care directive through FindLaw, rest assured that you can make unlimited changes to it for a year after purchase.

Under Alaska law, you can revoke a health care directive in any manner that you choose. This might include physically destroying the document. To revoke your POA, you must do so through a signed writing, such as a new advance directive.

If you have been diagnosed with mental illness, you can revoke your health care directive in any manner as long as you are mentally competent to do so. Whenever you revoke a health care directive or any other estate planning document, you should be sure to inform the right people of this change.

You should also provide your loved ones and your health care agent with a copy of your new health care directive (if you created one). Remember that an effective way of revoking a health care directive is to create a new one.

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