It’s hard to think about situations that can affect your family legally, but it is essential to put safeguards in place. One important area to consider is health care. People needing care can’t always convey what they want during treatment. That is where a power of attorney for health care becomes a crucial document to have in place.
What is a power of attorney for health care?
A power of attorney for health care allows someone, your Representative, to make medical decisions when you can’t. A living will only allows someone to make decisions when you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A power of attorney for health care document can include additional situations.
In what situations do you need a health care power of attorney?
A health care power of attorney can cover situations when someone is temporarily unconscious or needs emergency care. Examples include:
- If you are in an accident. A living will specifies what life-sustaining measures you want. The health care power of attorney will allow your Representative to uphold your wishes or alter them if they believe there is a different course of treatment you would want.
- If you are temporarily unconscious. The health care power of attorney allows them to make decisions for anything that comes up but isn’t specified in your living will. In other words, unforeseen situations and circumstances.
- If your young adult child is at college. A health care power of attorney allows you to receive information about their health care. If your child is 18 or older, you are no longer entitled to that information unless a document is in place.
Who do you choose to be your power of attorney for health care?
Choosing a power of attorney for health care is a big decision – and one you don’t want to take lightly. The person you select should know you well and be able to advocate for your needs and desires in a medical situation.
The person should support the course of treatment you would want. Even if they don’t agree or it was difficult for them. Some of the things they need to know include:
- Personal or religious values and how they conflict with medical care
- Views on life-sustaining measures
- Desires surrounding life support and reasonable care
A power of attorney for health care is often used in tandem with a living will, and gives more flexibility.
Ogborne Law can help with healthcare power of attorney, a living will, and your entire estate planning. When you’re ready to take control of the future life-saving decisions that need to be made, contact us to get started.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.