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What Is a Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney?

May 25, 2019 in Uncategorized | MARTIN WREN, P.C. | LEAVE A COMMENT

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A power of attorney is a legal authority to act for someone in legal or financial matters. There are four different types of power of attorneys, general, special (or limited), durable, and healthcare. A healthcare power of attorney designates a person to make decisions about healthcare for you in the event that you can’t.

Who Will Manage Your Healthcare When You Can’t?

Most people don’t like to think about death or being too sick to communicate. Under today’s healthcare regulations, even a spouse can have difficulty getting information from doctors and hospitals about a person’s condition. If you become unable to speak with your healthcare providers, you may want a loved one to make decisions for you. This is why you have a healthcare power of attorney.

Express Your Wishes in Your Healthcare Power of Attorney

When you create your medical power of attorney, you can tell your agent the kinds of treatment you want or don’t want. Your healthcare power of attorney can outline your wishes, such as whether you want pain relief options or life-sustaining options. In your documents, you can outline how you wish to handle final arrangements, a funeral, cremation, or donation to medical research. It’s a good idea to tell your agent how you feel about organ donation.

Although it’s impossible to tell your healthcare power of attorney every detail, you can put as much or as little as you see fit. You have the right to name anyone as your medical power of attorney, but typically, you want to choose someone who will carry out your wishes. When choosing your medical power of attorney, consider:

  • Can this person stand up to medical professionals and ask the hard questions?
  • Do you trust this person to put aside their own feelings and act on your best interest?
  • Will this person be able to carry out your wishes? A child may find it difficult to end treatment knowing that their parent will die.

What If You Have a Living Will?

A living will is a good document to include in your estate planning. However, it only applies if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. If you are temporarily incapacitated, the living will would not help.

Many times, a living will and healthcare power of attorney are combined into the same document. Your estate attorney can make sure that your needs are covered by creating the documents that you want. You will need to have your decision in writing to make it legally binding. Contact an estate planning lawyer in Fairfield County, CT today.

Thanks to Sweeney Legal for their insight into estate planning and healthcare attorneys.

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