So, if you visited me and created one or more of the following documents, I have some good news. The state of Arizona helps you store these documents safely and at no charge.
Save These Arizona Advance Directives Online AND for Free:
Medical/Health Care Power of Attorney
Mental Health Care Power of Attorney
This is good news because if you have become incapacitated, this can save your loved ones trouble hunting down your documents and makes sure your wishes are honored. (More on this in a bit.)
What is the Registry?
The Arizona Advance Directive Registry is a free registry to electronically store and access your medical directives. The secure and confidential program grants peace of mind to registrants and their families, and easy access to all health care providers.
Where Do You Find the AZ Registry?
The Secretary of State maintains a page on the state’s website that gives you all the information you need to file your documents. All of the filing tips and submission info is included there and it is very easy to submit and use.
What About Your Other Documents?
I have a great blog post on some options available to you that do not include online or cloud based choices. I recommend that you read about these in addition to online options.
More and more there are online options like those covered in this article on Kiplinger.com. Online options are not bad ideas, but in estate planning, the originals rule the day, especially when it comes to wills. So electronic storage is a good back up, but be sure to keep originals handy.
If your original, signed copies can’t be found after your death, the presumption will be that you either did not leave a will/trust/directive or you destroyed it. The court might proceed as though you died “intestate,” without an estate plan. Your assets will pass to your closest kin in an order set by state law rather than by the terms you set out in your estate plan. So planning how your documents are stored is as important as getting them created in the first place. If you have any questions on this important topic, please be sure to get in touch!