You may have heard the term power of attorney before, but medical power of attorney is another important term that everyone should be aware of as they plan out their estate. Simply put, a medical power of attorney grants someone the ability to make healthcare decisions for you. This is a big responsibility, and if you are not sure exactly who you should grant it to you may want to consult a Woodland Hills power of attorney lawyer.
How Do I Give Someone Medical Power of Attorney?
You just have to fill out a medical power of attorney form, sometimes called a power of attorney for healthcare. You have to fill it out with your information and then the information of the person who you want to give this power to. You can also choose two alternates in case the agent you choose initially is unable to perform their duties.
This form also needs to be notarized and signed by two witnesses. The witnesses need to know who the person granting medical power of attorney is, but at least one of them cannot be related to you. They have to sign an additional declaration that they are not a relative and that, as far as they know, they are not included in your estate.
When Would They Make Medical Decisions For Me?
Once you have given someone this power, they can medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. For many people, this means when they are comatose, hooked up to life support, or stricken by a degenerative disease that would make it difficult or impossible to make their own care decisions.
When you need healthcare, the person with your medical power of attorney makes the decision for you. They can:
- Accept or refuse medical treatments
- Look at medical information and records
- Choose doctors and healthcare facilities
- Find you a place to live, like a nursing home or assisted living facility
- Determine who helps with your needs, like feeding, bathing, and general care
- Take you off life support
Your loved one will make these decisions for you based on what they know about you, what your wishes would be, and what they think is in your best interest.
Can I Leave Behind Instructions With My Medical Power of Attorney?
You can also leave behind instructions for the person you designate as your agent. If you have particular directions for your healthcare or funeral, your agent now has more information and can better protect your interests.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
If you have questions about medical power of attorney or anything else relating to your estate planning, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman. We can schedule a consultation where we can learn more about your needs and tell you more about what we can do to assist you and your family.