Arizona Advance Directives Registry
So you have listened to my advice and created your Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney. Wonderful! The question I always get next is:
“But what do I do with the documents?”
First, you should keep the originals in a safe place (or better yet have your lawyer keep them in a fireproof safety deposit box for you). Second, and most importantly, you should have them registered with the Arizona Secretary of State so that any medical provider can verify your wishes by consulting the registry. As you might imagine, if you are rushed to the emergency room you are unlikely to have all of these documents in your possession. The Secretary of State has a registry that hospitals routinely consult to determine your wishes. The Secretary of State will also issue you a card that you can carry in your wallet to alert emergency personnel that you are registered. The best part about this service is that it is absolutely 100% free! Everyone should take advantage of this free service, which is paid for by your tax dollars. Here is the website where you can read about how to get registered.
Most lawyers charge for registering their clients for this service but you can absolutely do it yourself for free. I also offer this service for free to all of my estate planning clients.