Having a Health Care Power of Attorney can save your family heartache, money, and time in the event you require medical care, and are unable to communicate your own wishes regarding that care. How does a Health Care Power of Attorney work? Who should you name as your Health Care Power of Attorney? Naturally, these decisions are very important, and having a properly executed Health Care Power of Attorney in place can make a big difference in the type of treatment you will receive. This post outlines some important facts about a Health Care Powers of Attorney in Arizona.
A Guide to Health Care Power of Attorney
When an Arizona resident is unable to make health care decisions, he or she can rely on a Health Care Power of Attorney executed pursuant to ARS §36-3221 to confer authority upon another person to make those decisions on his or her behalf. Without a Health Care Power of Attorney, family members are often called upon to help make decisions. A myriad of issues can arise when this scenario occurs. Here is a post regarding “Power of Attorney Basics“.
What You Need to Know About Health Care Power of Attorney
In the absence of an estate plan, Arizona law dictates which family members have priority to make these types of decisions. However, if these family members cannot agree on your treatment, the hospital would insist that one person have legal authority to make these decisions. This means that one of your family members might be forced to petition the probate court to be appointed as your guardian. Working with the court to obtain a guardianship—meaning a judge decides who will make health care decisions—can be a time consuming and expensive remedy for family members. The court might award guardianship to a family member who does not share the same values as you do or there could be serious disagreement about who should be appointed. Ultimately, the decisions that are made about your health care could be very different from those that you would make yourself. By designating someone you trust as your Health Care Power of Attorney, you avoid the possibility that any of these scenarios will occur.
Arizona Health Care Power of Attorney
You must carefully consider who to name as your Health Care Power of Attorney. An attorney can help guide you in this process. Generally, it is a good idea to name someone as agent who lives nearby or who could arrive quickly if ever called upon to serve. When you are considering this role, have a discussion first with your family, friends, and others in your life that you trust. This will help you learn how they feel about taking on the role and whether they would likely honor your wishes. It might also help to consult with your doctor and clergy before making these important decisions. You should always name one or more alternates if your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve.
A Health Care Power of Attorney is an important component of a complete estate plan. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help guide you through these important choices. Call us today to prepare your Health Care Power of Attorney.