How Does a Medical Power of Attorney Work?

You may hear a power of attorney for health care decisions referred to in a few different ways. A medical power of attorney is very important for making sure that someone knows your wishes and is able to respond for your medical care if needed. While you hope that you never need to activate a medical power of attorney, you don’t want to put your loved ones in the difficult situation of trying to go to court to get this authority.

Depending on where you live, the person that you choose to make medical decisions for you might be called agent, proxy, surrogate, representative attorney in fact or advocate. Choosing someone who will act as your health care agent is extremely important.

You should choose a person who can be trusted to be your advocate if there are disagreements by other family members about your care, can be trusted to make decisions that adhere to your values and wishes, is not someone on your medical team, meets your state’s requirements for health care agent and is willing and able to discuss medical end of life issues with you.

You will need to trust this person to make a decision about what is best for your interests, so it should be someone that you trust and someone who you believe will hold up these important values if and when the time comes. For more information about creating a healthcare power of attorney and naming a health care proxy, it’s a good idea to meet first with an estate planning attorney. Your estate planning lawyer can help connect your values and goals with documents that address your needs.

Schedule a phone consult today for more assistance with your plan.

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