Mental Health Care Power of Attorney (MHCPOA)
A mental health care power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone to handle your mental health care should you become incapable or incompetent to handle your mental health care.
This document grants powers or authorities to this someone (also known as your agent). One of the specific authorities granted in this document is the authority to admit you into a psychiatric treatment facility. In determining who you would want to be your agent, you will want to choose someone you completely trust to handle your mental health care.
This is someone who will act in the same manner as you would if you were handling your mental health care yourself. This should also be someone that will respect your wishes and beliefs related to mental health care.
You can purchase a Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney from our office, here for $100.00.
We have found that many people are afraid to put a mental health care power of attorney document in place because they are fearful that their named power of attorney (agent) will use their powers or authorities immediately to take advantage of the person naming them.
It is important to note that a mental health care power of attorney is only valid upon your incapacitation and/or inability to express your wishes relating to your mental health care. Many individuals put these documents in place when there is a known diagnosis that could eventually lead to mental health issues.
For example, if you are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers’ disease, and are still competent to make these types of decisions, you can put this document in place just in case there is a mental health care need down the road.
This would prevent your family from having to pursue guardianship over you should these types of mental health issues arise. It is also important to name one or two back-up agents in case the first person you name is not available or is unable to act as your agent.
In order for your mental health care power of attorney document to be valid in Arizona it must be witnessed by one person not related to you OR notarized by a Notary Public.