What is Medical Power of Attorney?
Medical Power of Attorney or (Healthcare Power of Attorney) is a legal document allowing a person or organization permission to decide on your medical healthcare. This decision could be requesting or refusing medical treatment, surgery, life-end care, etc. The person who allows controlling these decisions is known as the “Principal”, while the body receiving authority is known as the “agent”.
We never know when something will happen to us accidentally, such as a sudden injury or illness. With the medical power of attorney, you are establishing peace of mind and reassurance for yourself and your loved ones by selecting a trusted individual to make vital decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so. A medical power of attorney, also known as a durable power of attorney, is essential. Having a durable POA means your agent’s authority to act on your interest continues unless you are incapacitated, which means you cannot communicate your wishes. Your agent or representative will provide proof to the healthcare institute on your behalf- that you cannot speak for yourself.
When to Use Medical Power of Attorney:
- If you have the right POA whom you consider to make healthcare decisions for you if you can’t get it in writing.
- You have health-related issues, and want to cover them on your behalf.
Why Do You Need A Medical Power Of Attorney
There are so many reasons to hire a PAO. Some are listed below to understand the importance of hiring a POA.
- To create peace of mind:
When you become ill and injured, your loved ones may have to step in and make a decision for you. You need to hire a POA. A court process is usually required. It might take time and money. Your loved ones could also be left you trying to determine what kind of care you need. It causes stress for you, and you will face depression and anxiety. You may give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by selecting a trustworthy individual to act as your healthcare agent before you need one.
- To prepare for a significant medical procedure:
Suppose you’re planning for surgery. You may want to choose a healthcare agent to make medical decisions since you can’t consent while under anaesthesia. If you like, you can cancel the power of attorney after you recover.
When you choose a POA, you will ensure that your agent will address concerns after being diagnosed with degenerative diseases. Your healthcare agent is your medical caretaker who will decide for you and take steps while you’re ill or injured.
How to Choose A Power Of Attorney
One of the most important steps is to choose your power of attorney. Depending on where you live, a power of attorney is also called a healthcare attorney, proxy, and healthcare representative. A power of attorney is the guardian that allows you to plan for your future while you cannot even make medical and healthcare decisions for yourself. Some appoint a power of attorney immediately after diagnosis or before surgery. But really, you can nominate your power of attorney at any time. But you need a power of attorney to write the paperwork. You can also draw up the duties of power of attorney to begin to take effect.
How to Create Your Medical Power of Attorney
- Firstly you need to decide who to be your healthcare agent. Your agent will have lots of authority, so you should choose someone you trust to have your best interest at heart.
- You have to decide which healthcare decision you want your agent to be able to make.
- It’s a good idea to communicate with this person beforehand to ensure they’re willing to be your agent.
- Most courts provide blank POA forms for free. But it’s not easy to customize them or include information preferences. You can use free online software to create a living will, which consists of a healthcare power of attorney.
- Complete your POA form, sign and witness according to your state law. Most states require you to get your POA paperwork notarized. Some states also require additional information, such as a witness or signature of your agent.
- Provide a copy of your medical POA to your agent. Your agent will provide a form as proof of their position before they are allowed any medical decision for you.
- It is essential to keep your medical POA form in a secure location along with your other important documents. You may store it in a safe box or with a trusted agent.
- Last, update your medical POA form as your circumstances change.
While hiring a lawyer to create your medical power of attorney is not mandatory, consulting with one can certainly be beneficial to ensure your POA covers all your needs.