Maybe your medications interacted badly, causing behavior changes that concern your friends and family. Or you could be developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. If you’re taken to the hospital with a mental health problem, it’s important that you have signed a mental health care power of attorney
General Estate Planning & General Power Of Attorney
The typical estate plan includes a Will, a durable power of attorney, and a health care power of attorney. Other documents can be added as necessary, like a trust or living Will. Of course, each document has a specific purpose.
When you sign a power of attorney, you are granting another person – your agent – the power to act on your behalf. Some powers of attorney are limited to a specific time period or a specific event. A power of attorney can become effective when it is signed or when a certain event happens, like the incapacity of the signer. A health care power of attorney authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to.
A Medical Power Of Attorney Does Not Give Anyone Authority To Make Mental Health Care Decisions For You
Mental health care is considered a completely different category than health care. If you need treatment for a mental illness, and can’t make decisions for yourself, someone else will have to step in. Without a mental health care power of attorney, your family may have to petition for an emergency guardianship.
Arizona Advance Directive Registry
Arizona maintains a free registry where you can electronically store a copy of the following documents:
- Medical/Health Care Power of Attorney
- Mental Health Care Power of Attorney
- Living Will.
Once you’ve signed your documents, submit copies to the Registry. You’ll find instructions here.
Make Your Wishes Known.
Signing a mental health care power of attorney is not a step to be taken lightly, but it is a step to consider.
At Keystone Law, we know that estate plans should help you in all areas of your life. Our attorneys help clients like you decide how to develop a personal estate plan. Call us at (480) 418-8448. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.