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What is Medical Power of Attorney?

Medical power of attorney grants legal authority for medical decision.

These choices could relate to several aspects of treatment, including medication, surgery, end-of-life care, and others. Your healthcare agent or proxy is the individual you designate under your medical power of attorney to make these choices.

We never know when something unforeseen, such a sickness or injury, might occur to us. By appointing someone you trust to handle crucial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to, you can give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind.

Most people decide to make a medical POA durable when they write one. If you have a durable medical POA, your agent can continue to act on your behalf even if you become disabled and are unable to express your preferences.

In the event that you are unable to speak for yourself, your agent would be empowered to make medical choices on your behalf. It’s best to be precise when drafting your instrument because many courts presume that a medical POA is durable by default.

Medical POA may also be known as: based on where you reside.

  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Advance warning
  • Advance directive for healthcare
  • Directive for a medical power of attorney

One example of a POA is a medical power of attorney. The other categories are described here.

What is the effective date of your medical POA?

As soon as you become incapacitated, a durable medical POA goes into effect. This may apply to you if you:

  • Were sedated with a general anesthetic
  • Had a condition that rendered you mute, such as a stroke
  • Had an accident that rendered you unconscious or in a coma
  • Experiencing dementia due to Alzheimer disease or another type of dementia that affects your judgement

Why is a medical power of attorney necessary?

It is wise to write a medical POA in advance for a variety of reasons. The main factors you might want to think about are as follows:

To get ready for a significant medical procedure

If you are going to have surgery, you should choose a healthcare agent to make medical choices for you because you cannot give consent while under anesthesia. You can revoke the power of attorney when you recuperate if you wish.

To create peace of mind

Your loved ones may need to step in and make decisions for you if you ever become too unwell or damaged to do so.

If you don’t have a medical POA, this usually necessitates going to court, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Additionally, your loved ones can be forced to make assumptions about the type of care you prefer, adding stress to an already difficult situation.

You can give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by designating a dependable individual to serve as your healthcare agent prior to the time when you actually need one.

Following receiving a degenerative disease diagnosis, to address worries

You will eventually be unable to comprehend or consent to medical treatment if you have Alzheimer, cancer, ALS, or Huntington disease, for example.

After receiving a diagnosis, while you’re still in good health and able to express your healthcare preferences, you might want to get a medical power of attorney.

What can your medical care representative do?

Legally, your healthcare representative must operate in your best interests. You decide how much control they should have over your medical treatment.

Your POA could be drafted to provide your healthcare agent complete discretion over your medical treatment. Alternately, you can set time limits and restrictions on your agent authority.

If you choose, you can delegate decision-making to your healthcare agent:

  • What medical care you receive, such as surgery, surgical procedures, prescription drugs, and at-home care
  • The locations where you obtain medical attention
  • The physicians and other healthcare professionals who manage your care
  • Your residence, including any nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or residential long-term care
  • Who looks after your basic requirements, like eating and taking a shower?

Your healthcare agent will probably collaborate with a different financial power of attorney you’ve designated to manage your funds to ensure that you can pay for the medical care that has been recommended for you.

How to Make a Medical Power of Attorney

The basic steps to creating your medical POA are as follows:

  • Choose the person you want to represent you in healthcare. You should pick a person whose best interests are at heart because your agent will have a lot of power. It’s a good idea to get in touch with this person in advance to confirm that they are open to serving as your agent.
  • Select the medical decisions that you want your agent to be able to make.
  • Obtain a document for a medical power of attorney. The majority of states offer free blank POA forms, however it’s not always straightforward to customize them or incorporate specific preferences. You can also make a living will that includes a healthcare power of attorney using free internet software.
  • The form must be filled out, signed, and witnessed in accordance with local legal requirements. You must notarize your POA paperwork in the majority of states. Some states might call for additional witnesses or your agent signature.
  • Your agent, as well as any other interested parties, such as your doctor office, should receive a copy of your medical POA form. Before they may decide on your healthcare, your agent must present the paperwork as evidence of their authority.
  • Together with your other estate planning documents, save your medical POA form in a secure location. This could be kept in a safe deposit box, a fireproof safe at home, or the office of a reputable lawyer.
  • Any time your circumstances change, update your medical POA.

It’s not necessary to hire a lawyer to write your medical POA. To ensure your POA meets all of your needs, you might find it helpful to speak with one.

How to cancel a medical power of attorney

As long as you’re deemed mentally competent, you have the right to withdraw or cancel your medical POA whenever you want.

You can fill out a revocation of power of attorney form, get it witnessed by a notary public, and use it to revoke your medical POA.

No longer want your designated agent to serve as your medical POA, according to this agreement. You can also identify a new healthcare agent in a new medical POA document, or you can modify the duties of your present agent.

Must inform your original healthcare agent in writing that you are cancelling their power of attorney once you have created one of these documents.

To inform them of the revocation, you should also contact any other parties who have your POA on file, such as your doctor’s office.

Having a medical power of attorney brings comfort

We cannot all foretell the future. You may make sure you and your loved ones are ready for any medical emergency with a medical power of attorney.

Need to know more? Get more information on powers of attorney or begin drafting your living will.

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