Power of Attorney for Healthcare
Simply put, a power of attorney is a document that allows you to name an agent who can act on your behalf. A medical durable power of attorney, or power of attorney for healthcare, thus, allows you to name an agent to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated or otherwise cannot make those decisions yourself. The “durable” in durable power of attorney simply means that the power of attorney will stay in effect after you have lost your mental capacity.
Let’s say, for example, that you are in a car accident. You are injured, but your doctor expects you to make a full recovery. But due to the injuries, you are not fully cognizant of what is going on around you and you lack sufficient mental clarity to make informed decisions about your healthcare. In such a situation, your agent under your power of attorney will be able to speak on your behalf and make those decisions for you.
Because your agent under your medical power of attorney is going to have the ability to make potentially life-altering medical decisions for you, it is immensely important that you choose your agent carefully. You want to choose someone whom you trust and have (hopefully) had conversations with about your beliefs and wishes regarding medical care. Your power of attorney can also be drafted in a way that would give your agent the ability to override your living will. While this could be a good thing, it could also lead to trouble and could completely negate the purpose of having the living will in the first place.
For all of those purposes, it is important that you have clear, open communication with your agent under your power of attorney so he or she knows exactly what you would want to happen in different medical situations and can make decisions for you based on what he or she thinks you would want.
Denver, Colorado estate planning attorney Aiden H. Kramer offers estate planning packages that include Medical Durable Powers of Attorney/Powers of Attorney for Healthcare starting at as little as $800. Call (720) 379-3425 or email [email protected] today to get started.