Wills and Advance Directives

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Wayne Howell, Esq.

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Everyone needs a will. Just as in the movies, your will is your last opportunity to have your say, protect your minor children and provide for the people you care about. The primary point of your will, if you have minor children, is to name the person that you want to have take your place in the role of parent. The other point of your will is to wrap up your affairs and distribute your property. If you leave these decisions unmade, someone else will make them for you.

But it is a hassle and the cost may be prohibitive. . . . No, not really.

We have made it both simple and affordable to make a will that expresses your desires, and to issue the advance directives that protect you both during and at the end of your life.

Here is the deal: Download this form.  Provide the information requested and send it in with your payment. Payment by money order or bank check results in a one week turnaround; payment by personal check results in a two week turnaround.

This is what you get: A Last Will and Testament, customized to your instruction, printed on superheavyweight 100% cotton with a cotton envelope and a watermarked copy for your records . . . Plus, all the advance directives you may need: A Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney with Living Will, a Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Prehospital Medical Care Directive – also known as a Do Not Resuscitate or DNR order.  You also get two Financial Powers of Attorney – one effective immediately and one effective if you become disabled.

This is the Cost: $300.00 for the Basic Will Package, flat fee, payable in advance. That is all you need to spend to get what you really need.  For two people getting wills at the same time, the fee is discounted to $500 for both. Simply fill out a will information form for each person wanting a will and mail in with your check.

If you want a higher level of service: You may also choose an Upgraded Will Package that includes a consultation with an attorney, either before or after the documents are created, to explain and discuss all your possible choices, both on the will and on the advance directives. If you change any of your decisions and need the documents to be revised and reprinted, this is included. The cost for this Upgraded Will Package is $500.00. For two people getting wills at the same time, the fee is discounted to $800 for both.


Explanation of Advance Directives

 "Advance Directives" is a group term for the four documents that protect you in the event you are incapacitated, and deal with your concerns at the end of your life.

The Healthcare Power of Attorney identifies the person ("Agent") you trust to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated – that is, either unable to make your own healthcare decisions, or unable to communicate your decisions to others. It communicates the decisions you make as to what powers you do and do not grant your agent, your preferences regarding an autopsy, organ and tissue donation and final disposition of your body.

The Living Will works with the Healthcare Power of Attorney to clarify your choices at the end of your life – what life-sustaining treatment you want depending on your condition.

The Prehospital Medical Care Directive – also known as a Do Not Resuscitate or DNR order. This is for when you know that you are at the end of your life and have made the decision that if your heart or breathing stops, you do not want EMTs or medical personnel to take steps to get your heart or lungs working again.

The Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney – This concerns the one power that is not granted by the general Healthcare Power of Attorney. If you become mentally incapacitated due to accident, illness or substance abuse, you may need to be cared for in a "level 1" mental health facility – that is, a locked, twenty-four hour per day supervised environment. A psychiatrist or psychologist would have to examine you to determine whether you are incapacitated. The Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney is where you identify the person you trust to get you this care if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office has these forms available online to download and fill out on your own.  That resource is loacted here.

The Superior Court in Maricopa County has financial power of attorney forms and instructions availavle for download.  That resource is located here.