Attorney David McCarville speaks about the importance of designating a power of attorney

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Power of attorney comes into play in a variety of situations, including if someone becomes incapacitated due to mental illness, Dementia, or Alzheimer’s. As part of our monthly AARP sponsored segment that highlights issues important to older adults in Arizona, we spoke with attorney David McCarville of Fennemore, about the importance of designating a power of attorney.

McCarville explained that power of attorney is a document that gives another person legal authority to decide certain affairs for you in the event that you are unable to do so for yourself.

This POA is able to be customized to different areas of medical practice that you want to allow your agent consent on. POA is available to anyone over the age of 18 that is still in reasonable mental capacity to execute the legal document.

We then asked McCarville, how the law might be triggered when it comes to mental health circumstances.

McCarville explained that once someone is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, they no longer can give informed consent on their medical treatments, or consent to a third party to act on the patient’s informed consent.

Once you are incapacitated, you much trust that your agent will make informed decisions as to your medical care. In power of attorney, you are also able to give detailed instructions for what you want to be done for medical care, even if your agent doesn’t feel the same.

We asked what different ways one can revoke the POA of the agent. The first being if you are of stable mind and wish to change your POA. If your family, however, does not trust your POA, then they are able to file for a change in Power of Attorney.  It’s important to set up a Power of Attorney as soon as possible since dementia and Alzheimer’s can set it at any point in time.

David McCarville of Fennemore

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