Transition Planning Information

Choosing a Health Care Agent

The form works like a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. It allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. It does not include specific healthcare directives.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I obtain an Arizona Advance Directive Form?

Arizona Advance Directive Registry


The Arizona Advance Directive Registry is a place to electronically store a copy of your advance directive so it will be available where and when it is needed 24/7. Access to our central database via computer helps expedite patient's health requests.

The Arizona Advance Directive Registry is a FREE database for the storage of advance directives (Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney, and Mental Health Power of Attorney).

Is a lawyer or a notary public needed to complete an advance directive?

A lawyer is not required and your signature may either be notarized or witnessed by two competent adults. If the latter, neither may be the person appointed as your agent and at least one should be a person who is neither related to you nor entitled to any part of your estate.

Be aware that power of attorney designations, wills, trusts and other related documents are powerful legal instruments. It is recommended that you contact a private attorney for assistance with these and other serious legal matters.

What instructions should I give my agent concerning my health care?

You may be quite specific give or give very general instructions and preferences. It would be helpful to your agent to have directions from you about life-prolonging interventions, particularly medically administered food and water (tube feedings), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the use of machines to help you breathe, and organ and tissue donation. Many people choose to write their agents a letter stating their personal values and wishes, their feelings about life and death, and any specific instructions, and attach a copy of the letter to their Appointment of Health Care Agent Form. Talk with your agent about your choices, personal values and beliefs. Make sure they know what is important to you. This information will help them make the decisions that you would make if you were able.

Can an advance directive be changed?

YES. You may make changes to your form at any time but it is important that outdated copies are destroyed and that updated copies are provided to the appropriate people.

What should I do with my completed advance directive?

  • Discuss your wishes with your physician(s) and provide copies to your physician’s office
  • Keep a copy in your personal files where it is accessible. (A safety deposit box may not be the best place.)
  • Tell trusted family members and friends what is in the document.
  • Provide a copy to the person you named as your health care agent.

Are advance directives honored in an emergency?

Usually it is not possible to determine the chances of survival in an emergency situation. After the initial emergency has passed and the prognosis for recovery is known, your advance directive will come into play if you are not able to express your wishes.

Will another state honor my advance directive?

Laws differ from state to state, but typically, a patient’s documented wishes will be honored.

How often should review my advance care plan?

Advance directives are living documents that should be updated as circumstances in your life change, particularly when any of the "Four Ds" occur: death of a loved one, divorce, diagnosis or decline.