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Healthcare Power of Attorney

This document allows you to name someone to make medical decisions for you if you ever
unable to do so for yourself.

Do I need one?

If you over 18, and not disabled, then yes.

When do I need one?

Once you turn 18, without a Healthcare Power of Attorney, you are giving up your right to choose someone to make the most intimate and important medical decisions for you if you are unable.

What happens if I don't have one?

Medical treatment may be delayed as family members and health care providers determine next of kin and proper action for any given situation. In some circumstances, the court may need to become involved, further delaying medical treatment.

When is the document effective?

It is effective only if you are certified by one or more physicians that you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. The vast majority of powers granted under this document are only effective during your lifetime.

Example of When You Would Need
this Document Per Life Stage

Adulthood

Your son or daughter is away at college and gets the flu, which puts them in the hospital. Depending on the severity, he or she may not be able to understand or communicate with medical providers. By having a Healthcare Directive and Power of Attorney in place, you, or another designee will be able to help coordinate your child’s medical care without unnecessary delay.

Married

You are in surgery to remove your appendix and the surgeon sees a suspicious growth. The doctor would not be able to remove or biopsy the growth unless you have appointed someone authorized to consent to her doing so, possibly resulting in repeated invasive procedures.

Had Kids

Clear guidance as to who should make medical decisions for you may prevent disagreement between well-meaning loved ones in the event of a medical emergency.

Moving

Certain states have language that is required by law to be in a Health Care Power of Attorney or restrictions on who may serve as your agent under this document.   It’s a good idea to have an attorney licensed in your new home state review your existing legal documents to ensure they will be effective in your new hometown.

Solo

You are injured or suffer from dementia or another condition that prevents you from understanding and communicating your wishes. Without a Healthcare Power of Attorney that clearly states your intentions or designates an individual to make critical decisions, the court may become involved and appoint someone other than the person you would have chosen.

Your son or daughter is away at college and gets the flu, which puts them in the hospital. Depending on the severity, he or she may not be able to understand or communicate with medical providers. By having a Healthcare Directive and Power of Attorney in place, you, or another designee will be able to help coordinate your child’s medical care without unnecessary delay.

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