Experienced Arizona Ancillary Probate and Trust Attorney Arizona Ancillary Probate Lawyer Matthew L. Howell Attorney at Law
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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers for:

Are my non-Arizona estate planning documents
valid in Arizona?

  1. VALIDITY OF NON-ARIZONA WILLS IN ARIZONA -- A.R.S. §14-2506 provides that a written will is valid in Arizona if when executed it complies with the jurisdiction's laws: (a) where the will was executed, (b) where the testator was then domiciled, (c) where the testator had an abode, (d) where the testator was a national, or (e) where the testator died. Therefore, if the will was signed under any of those circumstances, unless other changes need to be made, no new Arizona will needs to be executed.

  2. VALIDITY OF NON-ARIZONA DURABLE FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY IN ARIZONA -- A durable power of attorney is a written instrument by which a "principal" designates another person(s) as the principal's "agent" (attorney in fact) to handle financial matters and/or make personal welfare decisions for the principal, even if the principal subsequently becomes disabled. A.R.S. §14-5501 contains mandatory execution requirements for Arizona durable powers of attorney; however, for non-Arizona powers of attorney, A.R.S. §14-5501C (effective August 1, 1998) provides that a power of attorney executed in another U.S. jurisdiction is valid in Arizona "if the power of attorney was validly executed in the jurisdiction in which it was created." Therefore, if the client's durable power of attorney was prepared by a knowledgeable attorney on or after August 1, 1998, then presumably that document should be valid in Arizona. Note, however, sometimes Arizona financial and other institutions may be hesitant to accept durable powers of attorney executed in other jurisdictions, so if the client is to become an Arizona resident a new power of attorney may nonetheless be advisable.

  3. VALIDITY OF NON-ARIZONA DURABLE MEDICAL (HEALTH CARE) POWERS OF ATTORNEY -- A durable health care power of attorney allows a "principal" to designate another person(s) as the principal's "agent" (attorney in fact) "to make health care decisions on that person's behalf (but only if the principal is unable to make or communicate such decisions) by executing a written health care power of attorney". A.R.S. §36-3221 contains mandatory execution requirements for Arizona durable medical powers of attorney; however, A.R.S. §36-3208 provides that a health care directive (including a medical power of attorney) prepared before September 30, 1992, or one prepared in another state, district or U.S. territory is valid in Arizona if it was valid in the place where and at the time when it was adopted and only to the extent it does not conflict with the criminal laws of this state. Therefore, if the client's medical power of attorney was prepared by a knowledgeable attorney where adopted, then presumably that document should be valid in Arizona. It may, however, be safer to merely execute a new Arizona document if the person is going to establish Arizona residency or will be staying for any period of time in Arizona.

  4. VALIDITY OF NON-ARIZONA LIVING WILL DECLARATION -- A living will declaration allows the principal to withhold intrusive medical procedures that artificially prolong the physician-certified imminent dying process. A.R.S. §36-3261 and §36-3221 contain mandatory execution requirements for Arizona durable medical powers of attorney; however, A.R.S. §36-3208 provides that a health care directive (including a living will) prepared before September 30, 1992, or one prepared in another state, district or U.S. territory is valid in Arizona if it was valid in the place where and at the time when it was adopted and only to the extent it does not conflict with the criminal laws of this state. Therefore, if the client's living will was prepared by a knowledgeable attorney where adopted, then presumably that document should be valid in Arizona. It may, however, be safer to merely execute a new Arizona document if the person is going to establish Arizona residency or will be staying for any period of time in Arizona.

  5. VALIDITY OF NON-ARIZONA PREHOSPITAL MEDICAL CARE DIRECTIVE -- A pre hospital medical care directive allows one to give a "do not resuscitate" direction, namely, to direct the withholding by emergency medical and hospital emergency department personnel, of chest compressions, defibrillation, assisted ventilation, intubation or advanced life support medications if prepared in a specific format required by Arizona law. However, A.R.S. §36-3208 provides that a health care directive (including a pre hospital medical directive) prepared before September 30, 1992, in another state, district or U.S. territory is valid in Arizona if it was valid in the place where and at the time when it was adopted and only to the extent it does not conflict with the criminal laws of this state. Therefore, if the client's premedical directive was prepared by a knowledgeable attorney where adopted, then presumably that document should be valid in Arizona. It may, however, be safer to merely execute a new Arizona document if the person is going to establish Arizona residency or will be staying for any period of time in Arizona.

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