What would happen if an accident, illness, or simple old age made it impossible to tell doctors what type of treatment you want to receive? While this may be difficult for you to think about, there are things you can do to avoid trouble down the road.
With a medical power of attorney, you can name somebody, such as a loved one, to make these decisions based on your wishes. This will go a long way in giving you peace of mind, while also making it easier for your family during this challenging time.
When creating a medical power of attorney, also known as a durable power of attorney for health care, you will be prompted to name a person to oversee this part of your life if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This person is known as an “agent, “health care proxy,” or “attorney in fact.” Regardless of what this person is called, they are there to ensure that you are cared for in the manner outlined in your medical power of attorney.
It is common to be concerned that there could be a mix-up along the way, however, this is not something you should worry about. Your agent is legally bound to follow your directions, regardless of what they may be.
Are you worried that this is not enough? A medical power of attorney is a good start, but you may also want to consider creating a living will. With this, you are taking things to another level, once again ensuring that your treatment preferences are followed.
Contact an Attorney
With so many details to consider, you will want to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a medical power of attorney. This person can answer your questions, help you create this document, and put your mind at ease.
Note: laws differ from state to state, so it is important to meet with a local attorney. On top of this, if you move to another state you should review your medical power of attorney, along with other estate planning documents, just to make sure they are still valid.
Now that you have a better understanding of a medical power of attorney, you can decide if now is the time to create or alter this document.