Arizona law allows you to designate someone to make health care and financial decisions on your behalf by executing a power of attorney. The person you choose makes important choices for you under certain circumstances, such as if you are in a vegetative state after a severe car accident or develop a mentally-incapacitating condition.
While it is important for you to create this document as soon as possible, you should not rush your decision. You must make sure you choose the right individual for the role.
The person you designate should have various attractive qualities:
- Trustworthiness: Can follow through on demands, adhere to wishes and have an honest character.
- Assertiveness: Can stand up to others and make the right decisions under pressure.
- Articulate: Can clearly communicate with others.
- Competency: Has at least a basic understanding of finances and/or medical processes.
Additionally, it is vital to consider how physically close this person lives to you.
When you are younger
The person you choose may differ, depending on your age. If you are younger and in good health, you may choose your spouse or partner. Another common choice is a close relative, such as a sibling or cousin.
You may need to revise your power of attorney documents as you get older. Even if your spouse or someone else close to your age is your first choice, it may be a good idea to consider someone younger. If you have adult children, think about choosing one you trust the most. You may also consider younger relatives.
Having the conversation
Once you narrow down your list of contenders, it may be a good idea to talk to the ideal person before creating your document. Give this individual a heads-up about your plans. Ask him or her if he or she is willing to take on the responsibility. You do not want these duties to be a surprise to the person you choose.