Arizona 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 Arizona 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? Yes*

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 1

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

* Document can have either notarization OR witnesses 

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


(Source: Arizona Attorney General)

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

Designated Funeral Agent

Arizona 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.

Arizona Statute No. 32-1365.01 outlines, "a legally competent adult may prepare a written statement directing the cremation or other lawful disposition of the legally competent adult's own remains ... the legally competent adult who is the subject of a document... shall sign and date the document. The document shall be notarized or witnessed in writing by at least one adult who affirms that the notary or witness was present when the legally competent adult signed and dated the document."

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.

Arizona Statute 36-3221 also outlines your right to a designated funeral agent for a Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA).


Financial Assistance

The state of Arizona does not provide burial or funeral assistance, though some counties in Arizona do. Burial assistance is provided to funeral homes for deceased individuals who are found to be financially indigent.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Arizona. 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 Arizona and when it is required to involve a licensed funeral director.

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 Arizona, there are statuatory obligations to comply with the written wishes of a decdent. Your personal preferences should be written and shared with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent to give you the best chance of having them seen through or upheld in the courts.