Alabama 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 Alabama 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? Yes

  • 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 Doc? No

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


(Source: Alabama Hospital Association)

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

Designated Funeral Agent

Alabama law supports the appointment of a designated funeral agent to follow through on your written personal preferences (see below) or make funeral arrangements on your behalf if no written preferences are indicated.

Alabama Public Law No. 109-163, Section 564 outlines, "the right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person as an authorizing agent... shall vest in... the person designated by the decedent as authorized to direct disposition." 

The appointment of a designated funeral agent will override the next-of-kin's usual authority and let the citizen designate whom he/she wants to control the disposition of his body.


Financial Assistance

The State of Alabama does not offer financial assistance for funerals, but assistance is available at a City, County & Non-Profit level at 13 different locations.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funerals

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are restricted in Alabama. Recent changes indicate that every funeral service, memorial service, or interment, or part thereof shall be in the actual charge and under the direct supervision of a funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on home funeral restrictions in Alabama.

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 Alabama, 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.