Question: Our living will was updated for the state of California; should it be updated for Arizona since this is our primary residence?
Answer: Under Arizona law, a health care directive is a document that is drafted to deal with a person’s future health care decisions. Because people are so mobile, Arizona law also recognizes health care directives prepared in other states, districts or territories of the United States. In order to be considered valid in Arizona, the health care directive that was prepared in California must have been valid in California at the time it was adopted, and it cannot conflict with the criminal laws of Arizona. (A.R.S. § 36-3208) It is important that everyone have documents that indicate their wishes for health care decisions and end of life decisions. Arizona law provides samples of both the health care power of attorney (A.R.S. § 36-3224) and the living will (A.R.S. § 36-3262). Other helpful information can be found at http://www.azag.gov/seniors/life_care/FAQ.html. Please note that Arizona has a special requirement that if inpatient mental health treatment is required, the health care power of attorney must specifically provide that power and be initialed by the Principal (the person giving the right to their agent). Most states do not have that requirement.
February 12, 2007