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Healthcare Powers of Attorney & Living Wills

A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint someone (an agent) to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so.

In this document you can:

  • nominate a trusted person to make decisions
  • give your agent and your doctors information about your health care wishes
  • provide instructions for your burial or cremation choices
  • allow the agent to obtain records of your medical history

What are the risks if I don’t have a health care power of attorney?

If you do not have a health care power of attorney, your family may have to petition the court to be appointed as your legal guardian. This is a stressful, costly, and cumbersome process.

Living Will also known as Advanced Health Care Directives

A living will/advanced health care directive allows you to be in charge of health care decisions by informing your agent of your wishes regarding treatment if you have a serious illness or accident.

You can give direction on:

  • religious preferences, customs, and beliefs
  • intubation and artificial breathing
  • food and hydration
  • comfort care
  • life saving interventions such as, CPR
  • assisted breathing

Without this direction family members may experience anxiety and fear when making decisions for you. This helps them know what your wishes are in order to carry them out on your behalf.

Mental health care power of attorney: This is an Arizona specific requirement.

Arizona law does not allow an agent to place a person in an in-patient psychiatric facility. Only an agent with mental health powers can make sure you get the treatment you need. This is not just about mental illness as most people assume. Adults can have medication reactions or challenges related to dementia that require mental health treatment.

The mental health care power of attorney is sometimes included in the health care power of attorney. If you already have a health care power of attorney from an Arizona State attorney, you should review the document to see that it includes the mental health powers.

TIP-Every person over age 18 needs a power of attorney. That means adult children too!

Kile & Kupiszewski law firm has over 20 years experience in estate planning. Powers of attorney are an important part of your overall estate plan. When you come in for a consultation we will help you understand the estate planning process, including how to select an agent and the powers they will need to assist you when you need it. We listen to you to formulate an estate plan that meets the needs of you and your loved ones. Call us today to schedule a consultation 480-348-1590.

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