What is the representative’s role with a living will in Arizona?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2021 | Estate Planning, Wills |

In Arizona, people who are taking the necessary steps in having a comprehensive estate plan will need to consider all the potential scenarios that might impact their life. One that frequently arises is having a living will. This is also referred to as an advance directive. With it, the person will have a representative to make the decisions in his or her stead if they are unable to do so on their own. This is a difficult role to play and accords significant responsibility that many might not want to have. Naming a trustworthy person who understands its seriousness is crucial from the start.

Decisions the health care representative will be responsible for

When the person is incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own, the representative will be required to make them as per the person’s wishes. There are three basic requirements that the representative must adhere to. First, there are the expressed wishes. The person will make certain statements in writing just in case the situation arises in which he or she is incapacitated. These will detail what can and cannot be done. For example, the person might not want to be kept alive with a respirator or via artificial nutrition. If that is the case, then these measures will not be taken.

The representative will use substitute judgment. That means if there were no specific details about certain treatments, the representative will assess the case and try to do what the person would have done. If it is not known, then the representative will need to use whatever knowledge they have and proceed accordingly. Finally, there must be good faith in determining the person’s best interests. This will factor in if the person is suffering and it is necessary to provide relief; if that person has a chance of returning to functionality; and what the quality of life may be if life is artificially sustained.

Having advice for estate planning can help with achieving goals

It might not be easy to acknowledge the frailty of life, but given what has happened around the world in the recent past, it is wise to think about a living will and other estate planning documents. This can take the most difficult decisions out of loved ones’ hands and have a list of preferences that will dictate what can and cannot be done in terms of treatment, life-saving and prolonging care. When thinking about this or any other type of estate planning document, it is beneficial to have experienced assistance from the beginning to make an informed decision.