Alaska End of Life Guide

Advance Directives 

Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to make known your end-of-life care ahead of time. The state of Alaska recognizes your right to decide the terms of your own medical treatment and to assign a person to make those decisions when you are not able to do so. 

Here are some important questions to consider before beginning this process:

  • Is this document(s) state specific? No

  • Does this document(s) need to be notarized? No

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 2

  • Can you legally use Aging With Dignity's 5 Wishes DocYes

There is a single Advance Directive form for Alaska that you can download by clicking the button below:


(Source: Alaska Department of Health)

Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity laws allow the dying more control of their death and end-of-life decisions. These laws allow terminally-ill, able-minded state residents to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their death.

In Alaska, Death With Dignity legislation has not been passed nor submitted under a House or Senate bill.

Designated Funeral Agent

Alaska does not have any laws allowing you to designate a funeral agent or uphold personal preference laws (see below). 

Financial Assistance

The State of Alaska offers relief via the General Relief Assistance (GRA) and various Social Service Organizations provide assistance to those who hold a tribal membership.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Alaska. Your family or appointed agent may care for the deceased and handle all your funeral arrangements and necessary paperwork (permits and certificates) without a funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on how to navigate home funerals in Alaska.

Personal Preference Law

Personal preference laws for body disposition obligate your survivors to follow your written [or verbal] personal preferences. This often goes hand-in-hand with designating a funeral agent to follow through with your funeral or body disposition preferences. 

In Alaska, there is not a law obligating your survivors to follow your personal preferences. However, we always recommend outlining your funeral preference in writing and sharing them with your designated funeral agent, next-of-kin, or spouse, giving you the best chance of having them seen through or upheld in the courts.