While the terms living will, advance directive, and even healthcare power of attorney are often used interchangeably, they are, in fact, different legal documents. It’s also important to note that a living will is completely different from a last will and testament. A last will and testament is a document to help inform others regarding your final wishes regarding related to your estate and possessions. A living will is a legal document that informs healthcare professionals and loved ones about the type and level of medical intervention related to your end-of-life care. It’s designed to make sure you are heard even when you can no longer advocate for yourself. Every state has different requirements regarding what needs to be included in a living will and how it needs to be created. Alabama laws include regulations on how to create a living will when it can be revoked and what types of treatment options doctors can refuse.
In Alabama, living wills fall under the regulations of the Alabama Natural Death Act. Alabama Code Title 22: Health, Mental Health, and Environmental Control, 8A: Termination of Life Support Procedures or the Alabama Natural Death Act
To create a living will in Alabama, the individual must be an alert and capable adult 19 years of age or older and capable of understanding the consequences of withholding treatment.
The living will must be a dated written document signed by the creator of the living will in the presence of two or more witnesses.
You can revoke your living will at any time through any of the following methods:
An Advanced Health Care Directive or living will created in a state other than Alabama is valid in Alabama if the directive is valid under the laws of the state where it was created.
If a health care provider refuses to comply with the directions of a living will for religious or moral reasons, they won’t be liable for that refusal. However, the doctor or nurse is required to allow a patient a timely transfer to another health care provider who will follow the directives of the living will.
A doctor acting in good faith pursuant to reasonable medical standards and following an apparently valid health care directive or designated agent or proxy is not subject to criminal, civil, or professional liability.
Alabama does not require a Living Will. However, this tool can not only help make sure your wishes are met if you are unable to communicate, but it can make a very difficult time easier for your family and friends.
My Living Wishes is an app that allows you to plan for end-of-life events in advance. It helps provide peace of mind and makes sure your voice is heard. You can create a living will online today using the My Living Wishes App and make tomorrow easier for everyone.