Most people make a power of attorney for their finances. Making financial decisions in advance saves your family from unnecessary legal hassles and disputes. But planning for the future is all about pondering on the most awkward and uncomfortable topics.
What if you become mentally incapacitated to communicate to your doctor what type of medical treatment you seek? Is it not possible that your well-intentioned family members could end up in an ugly and heartwrenching dispute as you lie in a hospital bed?
Also, you could get subjected to unwanted and costly medical treatments, as well as the ones that might be against your religious or philosophical views. LawTally suggests you think about making your medical power of attorney.
What is a medical power of attorney?
A medical power of attorney is a legal document, in which you designate someone to be your health care agent or representative in case you become incapable of making or communicating your own health care decisions.
With this document, you grant a trusted person the authority to make your medical care as well as end-of-life decisions. It is advisable that you give detailed and specific instructions on your health care choices in this legal document.
You could also provide flexibility to your agent to make medical decisions. In this case, your agent can decide on treatment options depending on the circumstances of your injury and your medical status.
Tips on choosing a health care agent
It is essential to give considerable thought and select an appropriate health care agent as this person will be making important decisions concerning your healthcare in the future. You must ensure your wishes are mentioned in detail in your power of attorney as your agent is bound to operate according to your choices.
Whoever you chose should be over 18 years of age. The person should not be your doctor or any other healthcare provider. The person could be your family member, your friend, or your spiritual advisor. You must have trust that the person will carry out your wishes.
You must discuss your wishes with the person you chose to be your representative or agent. Confirm that the person you pick is willing to make decisions for you, even if executing such choices is challenging or upsetting.
You can also appoint more than one agent as co-agents serving together as equals, or successive agents, where the second person serves if the first one is unable to do so. It would be wise to discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of such an arrangement with an experienced power of attorney lawyer.
At times you could be uncomfortable naming someone as your agent, or you don’t want to burden a loved one with the difficult decision of pulling your plug. In such a case, you could discuss with your doctor or an expert Wills Lawyer to help you find a trustworthy person, capable of holding this crucial position.
As state laws differ in their requirements on a health care power of attorney, LawTally suggests you consult an expert lawyer to make informed decisions. An experienced lawyer will guide you with the procedural requirements and help create a health care power of attorney that perfectly reflects your desires and suits your needs.