You obviously have preferences about your ongoing medical care. That’s why it’s important to put your wishes in writing and designate people you trust to make these choices on your behalf if you’re no longer able to. Here’s what you should know about setting up Arizona advanced healthcare directives.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not intended to be legal advice. You should always talk to an attorney who is skilled in estate planning about your unique situation.
The basics of Arizona advanced healthcare directives
Planning ahead can allow you to make decisions about the care you’ll receive in the future, even if you become incapacitated. Guidelines regarding healthcare you want or don’t want to receive are generally referred to as life care planning or healthcare directives. These can include decisions about life support, organ donations, and much more.
In addition, you can also designate a person to make these decisions for you in the future. This can be a spouse, child, or someone else you trust. They will be responsible for making tough choices.
A trust or last will and testament usually includes healthcare directives. However, they don’t necessarily have to be a part of a larger estate planning document. Accidents and unexpected medical emergencies can strike at any age. With that in mind, it’s important for all adults to prepare this information. What follows is some of the more common Arizona advanced healthcare directives you can prepare.
What is an Arizona power of attorney?
Put simply, an Arizona power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to act on your behalf. This may be for medical care, financial management, and even parental powers over minors.
You can even draft a power of attorney for particular situations and for various periods of time. This is often in times of illness, but you can use a general power of attorney for non-emergencies as well. One example of this is if you are traveling outside of the country and want someone to be able to make financial or parental decisions during your absence. Whatever your reason, this person will be able to make choices for you.
For issues related to a power of attorney, Arizona has specific rules. An attorney who understands your situation can draft and review these documents for you to ensure they’re correct.
What is a medical power of attorney in Arizona?
A medical power of attorney allows you to designate a person who can make decisions regarding your healthcare when you are unable to do so (A.R.S. §36-3221).
This could occur if you become very sick or incapacitated. It could also be the result of a serious injury that leaves you unable to speak for yourself. Your medical care may end up going against your wishes if your choices aren’t made clear beforehand.
For this reason, it’s helpful to have a skilled lawyer draft your power of attorney documents. You can also review a sample medical power of attorney online.
What is a mental health power of attorney?
A mental health power of attorney designates someone to manage your mental health care if you cannot (A.R.S. §36-3281). Someone might use this when there is a known diagnosis related to mental health issues or one that that could eventually lead to them.
For example, a person can have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but still currently be able to make decisions. They can put this document in place in the present to prepare for a mental healthcare need down the road.
Is there a do not resuscitate form in Arizona?
Yes. If you have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form, first responders typically cannot use equipment, drugs, and devices to restart your heart or breathing. However, they will still provide comfort care to alleviate pain. While this is a common element of a trust or will, it’s essential to keep your DNR in plain sight.
You may want to post it somewhere in your home or keep it in your wallet. If not, emergency personnel won’t know about your preferences. Under Arizona law, a DNR must be on letter or wallet sized paper on an orange background to be valid.
Where can I find Arizona forms for advanced directives?
A complete Life Care Planning Packet is available through the Office of the Arizona Attorney General. This takes the guesswork out of drafting your own documents. Each form has its own requirements, so it’s important to follow all instructions carefully. You can also find other life care planning information and a Frequently Asked Questions document on their site.
Once you’ve completed the necessary paperwork, you may file a copy with the Arizona Advanced Directive Registry. This database is secure and confidential. It provides an online location for relatives or healthcare facilities to access your documents.
You should also provide copies to your healthcare providers and trusted family members. Remember to keep the original for your records and review it once a year. You may change or cancel any of these forms whenever you wish. Discuss changes with your doctor and anyone else who has been involved in your life care planning.
Get help with Arizona advanced healthcare directives
Although forms are available for you to file some of this paperwork yourself, it’s always important to get advice from an experienced attorney.
At ARTEMiS Law Firm, our lawyers can help you draft these important documents and ensure you correctly outline your preferences. We also have dedicated experience working with families with special needs and can provide guidance on these complex matters.
To get started on your Arizona advanced healthcare directives, contact our Arizona life care planning lawyers today.Contact Us