Documents You Need for a Good Life and Beyond

Jul 17, 2020 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen Ritchie

Attorney Allen Ritchie


It pains me for teachers to contemplate that going back to school could kill them. But some do, and some of those are here in South Alabama.

I was asked about the legal documents someone who is going back to work should consider, and though I find this very disheartening, it is good for all of us to consider these things at some time.

So to help my teacher friend and all of you, here are the 4 legal documents everyone should have.


  • Advance Directive for Healthcare (also called a Living Will) – It puts in writing your desires regarding medical treatment if you cannot speak for yourself. This is important so your loved ones do not have to guess what you would do.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare – This appoints a person to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. Your advance directive (living will) cannot cover every possible situation.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finance – This will name a person who can handle your financial affairs while you are still alive but not able to do so yourself. It is important; since someone will still have to pay the rent, keep the utilities on and pay your insurance premium.


Will – This dictates your wishes about how to distribute your assets once you are gone. And yes, here you can state who gets Aunt Belle’s 100-year-old cow-shaped creamer.

Many assets do not go through your will (probate) if you have someone else’s name on them. So be careful about adding someone to a deed or bank account. If you put your daughter on your checking account, she legally gets all that money no matter what you put in your will about share and share alike among your other children.

You can go online and get forms to sign, but I do not recommend it. These decisions are too important to not be done well. Let a lawyer handle them. One mistake can throw the entire document out.

I will give you a real-life example; an elderly Alabamian wanted to change his will removing some relatives. He wrote it up and got it notarized. The relatives still got his stuff. Why? Alabama requires 2 witnesses, and the notary was just one.

If you are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer a personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are working remotely mostly but are always available.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama personal injury lawyer