What do Arizona Powers of Attorney do?

A durable power of attorney, sometimes known as a “POA,” is an important part of your estate plan. Putting proper power of attorney documents into place is one of the best ways to give your family the tools to care for you at the end of your life.

By signing a power of attorney as the principal, you will be authorizing your agent to make decisions and act on your behalf. Your agent will have different duties and responsibilities, depending on the type of power of authority you sign. You should discuss these responsibilities with your agent ahead of time, so they understand their role.

Types of Power of Attorneys

Arizona recognizes three different types of power of attorneys:

A financial power of attorney will give your agent the authority to make financial decisions for you.

Signing this document will allow your agent to:

  • Pay your bills, including utilities and your rent or mortgage;
  • Manage your financial accounts, including your credit cards, bank accounts, and retirement accounts;
  • Take out loans in your name;
  • Buy, sell, or mortgage property with your money.

For some families, it may make sense to have the document go into effect immediately. For example, it may be easier for you to have your adult children balance your checkbook or withdraw money for you at the bank. Other people may decide to have the power of attorney only go into effect after they become incapacitated.

Because the potential for abuse is so high, it is important to select a responsible agent to manage your financial affairs.

A health care power of attorney will give your agent the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This document will allow your agent to:

  • Speak with your doctors and other medical providers;
  • Have access to your medical records;
  • Make your health care decisions;
  • Give and withhold consent for medical procedures; and
  • Take you off of life support.

A health care power of attorney is often coupled with a medical living will, which outlines the conditions you want to spend the end of your life in.

Finally, a mental health care power of attorney will give your agent authority to determine if you need psychiatric hospitalization. Your agent may make this decision if you:

  • Are suffering from psychosis associated with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; or
  • Have suffered from psychotic issues in the past.
Arizona Powers of Attorney

Take the time now to get your papers in order

A power of attorney must be signed while you have full mental capacity. If you are diagnosed with a disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it may be too late to sign these documents. Instead, your family would need to initiate guardianship procedures in order to take care of you. This can be both time-consuming and costly.

Although making end-of-life decisions can be uncomfortable, it is important to have your paperwork in order now. This will save you a significant amount of hassle in the future. Instead of imposing this additional burden on your family, you should contact me today to discuss your options for preparing your power of attorney documents.

AVVO Accredited Estate Planning Lawyer
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