Advance Healthcare Planning
Alabama Advance Directive

Alabama Advance Directive


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

8 Mins


An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc. in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Alabama.  

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor (maker of Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes/by anyone on the grantor’s behalf
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: Yes
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: Yes
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 1 
  • Other names for a Living Will: Advance Directive for Healthcare 
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney: Advance Directive for Healthcare
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues: No
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Who can be your witnesses in the Alabama Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Alabama if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Note: Your witnesses cannot be: 

  • Your healthcare proxy/agent,
  • A person who is related to you by blood, adoption or marriage, 
  • A person who is entitled to a share in the estate on your death,
  • A person who will be financially taking care of your medical treatment, or any person who signed the Advance Directive on your behalf. 
Advance Directive Alabama

Who can be your Proxy in the Alabama Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Alabama if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Your Proxy/Agent can be your family member or any loved one whom you not only trust but also clearly understands your wishes and instructions.

Alabama state laws require the proxy to sign the form and give in writing his willingness to act as your agent. If the proxy isn’t available to sign immediately, he should be mailed the whole document of the Advance Directive.

Notarization required for Alabama Advance Directive?

Nor do you need to notarize your Advance Directive neither Alabama requires you to submit your form to the Registry because it doesn’t maintain any Advance Directive Registry. 

However, if you want you can submit your Advance Directive with the office of the probate Judge.

Learn about the requirements of Alabama Last Will and Testament and Alabama Last Will and Testament Template.

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Alabama?

In Alabama, an Advance Directive doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

Note: Your Alabama Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency unless you become incapacitated to understand and communicate your wishes and consent.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Alabama Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation,
  • An oral revocation, and
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way.

Note: An oral revocation will be effective once you give a written and signed revocation to your doctor.

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Alabama but once you have signed and witnessed it you have to resubmit a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Alabama rules for divorce after making your Advance Directive 

Divorce from the spouse will not make any effect on the validity of the Alabama Advance Directive unless the spouse was named under Sec 2 as the Proxy/Agent then you have to make changes and fill a new document of Advance Directive.

Sections of the Alabama Advance Directive form

Section 1 of the Advance Directive in Alabama is your Living Will. 

This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either:

  • that you are terminally ill and to prolong artificially your life you would need artificial life-sustaining procedures or your death will occur with or without the use of life-sustaining procedures, or 
  • that you are in a persistent vegetative state.

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. 

On page 2 you can direct if you would prefer any life-sustaining treatment and on page 3 you can mention any other instruction you want to add.

Alabama Advance Directive Sample Form


I,___, being of sound mind and at least 19 years old, would like to make the following wishes known. I direct that my family, my doctors and health care workers, and all others follow the directions I am writing down. I know that at any time I can change my mind about these directions by tearing up this form and writing a new one.

IF I BECOME TERMINALLY ILL OR INJURED: Terminally ill or injured is when my doctor and another doctor decide that I have a condition that cannot be cured and where death will result in the near future without the use of artificial life sustaining procedures. 

Life-Sustaining Treatment: 

Place your initials by either Yes or No: I want to have life-sustaining treatment if I am terminally ill or injured. Yes___ No___

Place your initials by either Yes or No: 

I want to have food and water provided through a tube or an IV if I am terminally ill or injured. Yes__ No__

Section 2 of the Advance Directive permits the appointment of a Health Care Proxy/Agent

The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled on page 4 and 5 along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow. 

You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you.

Alabama Advance Directive Sample Form


This Section 2 creates a power of attorney that shall become effective upon the disability, incompetence, or incapacity of the principal, and is in substantially the same form as set forth in the Alabama Natural Death Act. Place your initials by only one answer: 

I do not want to name a health care proxy. (If you check this answer go to section  

I do want the person listed below to be my health care proxy. I have talked with this person about my wishes. 

First choice for proxy: 

Relationship to me: Address: City: State: Zip: Day-time phone number: 

Night-time phone number: 

If this person is not able, not willing, or not available to be my health care proxy, this is my next choice:

Second choice for proxy: 

Relationship to me: Address: City: State: Zip: Day-time phone number: 

Night-time phone number:

Section 3 provides the limitation

In this section, you can list the people you want your doctor to reach out to if there comes a time when life-sustaining treatment needs to be stopped or the appointed proxy isn’t available.

Section 4 of the Advance Directive is an optional organ donation form 

Alabama Advance Directive Sample Form



I do not want to make an organ or tissue donation and I do not want my agent or family to do so. I have already signed a written agreement or donor card regarding organ and tissue donation with the following individual or institution: 

Name of individual / institution: 

Pursuant to Alabama law, I hereby give, effective on my death: (Select one) 

Any needed organ or parts. The following part or organs listed below: 

For the following purpose: (Select one) 

Any legally authorized purpose. 

Transplant or therapeutic purposes only

Section 5 is for your signature

On signing your Advance Directive under Sec 5 of the form, it becomes effective. You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required.

Alabama Advance Directive Sample Form


My signature 

Your Name 

The Month, Day, and Year of your birth: 

Your signature: Date signed: 

Witnesses (need two witnesses to sign) 

Name of first witness: Signature: Date: 

Name of second witness: Signature: Date:

Section 6 is a proxy signature form. 

Alabama Advance Directive Sample Form


I,_______, am willing to serve as the health care proxy for . Signature: Date: Signature of second choice for proxy: 

I, _________________________________, am willing to serve as the health care proxy for if the first choice cannot serve. 



Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do advanced directives need to be notarized in Alabama?

In Alabama, advance directives do not need to be notarized to be legal.

Does an attorney have to draft an advance directive in Alabama?

The procedure of creating advance directives is simple, you do not require an attorney though you may choose to consult one. However, an advance directive either it is written or oral needs to be witnessed by two individuals.

3. Who makes medical decisions if you are incapacitated in Alabama?

Under Alabama law, incapacity means when a physician declares that the individual can longer give informed consent. Any person may designate someone to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated in Alabama.

How do I get a medical power of attorney in Alabama?

It is the same as creating a document of Advance Directive. Firstly, choose Your Surrogate/Acting Agent, be specific on what decisions your Power of Attorney can make for you, and fill out your Alabama Medical Power of Attorney Form. Lastly, sign your document before subscribing to witnesses and a Notary Public.

What are the 2 major challenges with advance directives?

Advance directives have limitations. For example, an older adult may not fully understand treatment options or recognize the consequences of certain choices in the future. Sometimes, people change their minds after expressing advance directives and forget to inform others.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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