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What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone you chose to make any and all health care decisions for you in accordance with your wishes, including your religious and moral beliefs, when you are no longer capable of making them yourself.

What can my health care agent under a Medical Power of Attorney do?

Your health care agent will be allowed to work with doctors and other health care providers to make sure you get the kind of medical care you wish to receive. When arranging your care, your agent is legally bound to follow your treatment preferences to the extent that he or she knows about them. In other words, your health care agent may consent, refuse to consent, or withdraw consent to medical treatment and may make decisions about withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment, while physicians must comply with your agent’s instructions.

 Who can be my health care agent?

Anyone 18 years of age or older or an emancipated person. Most importantly, however, the person you appoint as your health care agent should be someone you know and trust.

What if I disagree with my health care agent?

As long as you are mentally capable of making informed decisions, you will have the right to make health care decisions for yourself. This means that treatment cannot be given to you or stopped over your objection.

Can I revoke my Medical Power of Attorney if I change my mind?

Again, as long as you are mentally capable of making informed decisions, you will have the right to revoke the authority granted to your agent by informing your health care agent or your health or residential care provider orally, or in writing, or by your execution of a subsequent Medical Power of Attorney.

What if my health care agent does not want to make decisions for me?

We highly encourage our clients to always designate an alternate agent in the event that the initial health care agent is unwilling, unable, or ineligible to act as your agent.  Any alternate agent you designate will have the same authority to make health care decisions for you.

Do you need to get a Medical Power of Attorney when you are married, or when your parents are still living?

Unless you specifically gave someone the authority under a Medical Power of Attorney, no one is presumed to have any rights over you once you turn 18 years of age, not even your spouse, parents or siblings.

Do you have a Medical Power of Attorney?

If not, you need to call us now.  A Medical Power of Attorney is simple and inexpensive and can be extremely valuable in the event you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. We can help you set up an Estate Plan that will fit your personal needs. Contact us today!