When you are healthy, both mentally and physically, you are able to make health care decisions on your own. If you are asked a question, you know how to answer. If you need to make a big decision, you can compare the pros and cons and then decide what to do next.
But what happens if you get to the point when you are unable to make your own medical decisions? This is a concern for many people, as it should be. Fortunately, there is something you can do to protect yourself against a bad situation.
A medical power of attorney is a type of health care directive. As the name suggests, this is a legal document you create to ensure that your wishes are followed in the event that you are injured or too ill to make decisions on your own.
Details of a Medical Power of Attorney
Also known as a durable power of attorney for health care, there is one big step when creating this legal document: naming a trusted person who will oversee your care and make key decisions in the event that you are unable to do so for yourself.
Since this person will be staffed with a serious responsibility, you shouldn’t rush to a decision. You need to think long and hard about who you can trust to act on your behalf.
The person you select is known as an attorney in fact, agent, health care surrogate, or health care proxy.
The job of this person is to work with your health care team to ensure that your wishes are carried out. When arranging for any type of care, your agent is legally required to follow your wishes.
What Else can you do?
If you are concerned that your wishes are not 100 percent clear, there is something else you can do: create a living will. With this, you are in position to provide even more information, such as written instructions, that tell health care providers and your agent how you want to be cared for.
Depending on your state, a health care declaration and durable power of attorney for health care may be rolled into one, leaving you with a single form known as an advance health care directive.
Do you need it?
With so much information regarding a medical power of attorney, you may be on the fence as to whether or not this is something you need.
Some people believe they don’t have to think about this until they are older. Others, regardless of age, simply put this off and decide to let their loved ones make all key decisions based on the situation at the time.
You are not required to create a medical power of attorney, but it may be something you want to do for your own peace of mind. Furthermore, it can go a long way in taking stress off your family, as they don’t have to make decisions and worry about moving in the wrong direction. Instead, they will know what you want and can simply communicate this to your medical team.
How to Create a Medical Power of Attorney
Just the same as any estate planning document, if you want to create a medical power of attorney you need to do so in the appropriate manner. The last thing you want is to make a mistake that causes more confusion if you are ever in a bad health situation.
Do you still have questions about the finer details of a medical power of attorney? If so, you probably need to consult with a legal professional.
One of the best things you can do is sign up to attend one of our free seminars. During this time, you will learn more about the many aspects of estate planning, including the creation of a medical power of attorney.
If you have any questions along the way, we are sure to provide the answers you are looking for. Along with this, you may even want to setup an individual consultation for some time in the future.
There is a lot that goes into creating a medical power of attorney, but with the right guidance you don’t have to concern yourself with making a mistake.