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CREMATION – HOW CAN I PLAN FOR IT?

Have you been in to visit an estate planning attorney to update your Arizona Healthcare Power of Attorney in the last few years? If the answer is yes, you should confirm that the Power conforms to the recent statutory provisions relating to dispositions of remains choices. An updated Arizona Healthcare Power of Attorney now reflects the opportunity to make a choice as to whether you would like to be cremated or buried. If your healthcare documents haven’t been reviewed by an estate planning attorney, and you have a preference as to cremation or burial, it’s critical that your documents contain this important new language. Otherwise, there is no absolute guarantee that your verbal communication to your loved ones as to disposition will be carried out as you wish.

Fortunately, a few years ago the Arizona Legislature made revisions to the healthcare statutes which enable a person to make their designation of cremation or burial on the Healthcare Power of Attorney. In fact, now you can specifically detail where you wish your remains to be placed. Prior to the statutory revisions, the only choice available to express disposition of remains was to do so in a separate writing. Unfortunately, the completion of this separate writing often didn’t come to fruition and could easily be forgotten; and in the worst case scenario, family members in disagreement of what the decedent wanted, find themselves in court battling the disposition of their loved one’s remains. This battle not only divides a once close knit family, but can waste the estate’s resources.

For most families I meet, the option to state their disposition wishes is a very important and heartfelt decision because they prefer to relieve their family members from this heavy burden of having to make this decision for them. In fact, some families go ten steps forward and do detailed funeral planning, which will relieve the surviving family members from having to make a dozen choices about end of life at a very tender and emotional time.

Healthcare documents should be reviewed at least every three years to confirm compliance with law changes and sooner if there are personal changes. If it’s been a few years since you reviewed your entire estate plan, please call today and schedule a no-cost appointment and we would be happy to conduct a comprehensive estate plan review.

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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