When you’re talking to your attorney, and beginning the process of estate planning, you hear a lot of new terms and read legal documents that you might not understand right away. One of the documents your lawyer should recommend completing is a Health Care Power of Attorney. If you’re unsure of their position and responsibilities in your estate planning, here are a few things you need to know about what a Health Care Power of Attorney document does.
A Health Care Power of Attorney is where you assign, in a legal document, a specific person or persons to make all your decisions regarding your health care if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.
For example, you’re in surgery, and the doctor needs permission to remove your spleen. This wasn’t something you’d discussed with your doctor before surgery. So, your doctor will go to the person that you assigned as the power of attorney for permission.
The person you assign this job to should have a firm understanding of what medical procedures and measures that you’d want to be taken, in case of end of life decisions are needed.
If you don’t have a Health Care Power of Attorney, the hospital and doctors will do whatever is necessary to keep you alive without any thought to the quality of life. You might think that these decisions would automatically fall to your family, but that isn’t always the case. The last thing you want is for your family to fight a legal battle with the hospital to get your wishes honored, and in many instances, that is what families have to do to protect once another to preserve or remove life support.
Once you assign a Health Care Power of Attorney to your trusted family member(s) or friend(s), take the time to discuss your expectations. You want to be very clear about what you’d like to be done in a variety of situations, so they’ll know what to tell your doctors.
If you’d like to assign your Health Care Power of Attorney, and finalize other important information, Apple Payne Law is ready to help you complete all the necessary paperwork to protect your future. If you’re ready to get started, or want more information, call us today to learn more