If you are like most people, you probably don't think about your health very often. But what would happen if you became seriously ill and couldn't make decisions for yourself? That's where a healthcare power of attorney comes in. This document allows you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you can't speak for yourself. Here is what you need to know about Healthcare Power of Attorneys (POA).
What Is a Healthcare Power of Attorney and What Does It Do?
A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. This can include decisions about treatment, medication, and other aspects of your care. A healthcare power of attorney can be used if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. It can also be used if you are pregnant and want to designate someone else to make decisions about your healthcare in the event that you are unable to do so. The person you designate as your healthcare power of attorney will need to be someone you trust implicitly, as they will be making decisions that could potentially have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
Who Can Be Appointed as a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
In most states, anyone who is over the age of 18 and considered to be of sound mind can be appointed as a healthcare power of attorney. This person is responsible for making decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. The healthcare power of attorney will have access to your medical records and will work with your doctors to make sure that you receive the best possible care. It is important to choose someone you trust implicitly to make these decisions for you, as they will be responsible for making choices that could affect the rest of your life.
How Do You Appoint a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
In order to appoint a healthcare power of attorney, you must be over the age of 18 and have the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the appointment. You will also need to sign the document in front of a witnesses. Once the document is signed, it will be valid even if you later lose your mental capacity. However, you can revoke the document at any time as long as you have the mental capacity to do so.
What Happens if the Person You Appoint Can't Act for You Anymore or Dies Suddenly?
If you are concerned that your first choice may not be available when the time comes, you should choose to appoint successors. That way, if your first choice is unavailable, there will be someone else who can step in and make decisions in accordance with your wishes. It's also important to keep in mind that your Healthcare Power of Attorney can revoke or change their appointment at any time, so it's important to stay in communication with them about your wishes.
If the person you appoint can no longer act for you and you have no more successors, then your state's laws will determine who can make decisions on your behalf. In some states, this may be your next of kin, while in others it may be a court-appointed guardian.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Healthcare Power of Attorney in Place?
Having a healthcare power of attorney in place ensures that your wishes will be respected if you are unable to communicate them yourself. It also helps to avoid any confusion or conflict among family members about what you would want in a particular situation. Additionally, a healthcare power of attorney can provide peace of mind knowing that you have taken steps to protect your health and wellbeing.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for you. This person is known as your agent and can be anyone you choose, including a family member or friend. By appointing an agent, you can ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. If you have any questions about healthcare powers of attorneys or would like more information, please send us a message or give us a call at 414-253-8500. We would be happy to help!