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The importance of a healthcare power of attorney

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Estate Planning

As time passes, you quickly realize the importance of getting your affairs together.

Along with a will and estate plan to ensure your hard-earned assets go where you want, you must also think about yourself. If the time comes when you cannot make medical decisions for yourself, how will you know if your wishes get met?

1. What does a healthcare power attorney do?

By choosing a healthcare power of attorney, you legally name someone to make your healthcare decisions when incapacitated. Naming a person requires a legal, notarized document. Once named, this person has legal permission to discuss your medical situation with doctors, view records and tests, and decide the best course of treatment.

2. Why name a healthcare power of attorney?

It is critical for a single person to name a healthcare power of attorney. By doing so, you get peace of mind that the treatment you want will get delivered. If you do not name someone, a person you may not want to have that power may still get it. This could mean a distant relative or friend making decisions without having a clearly written statement of your medical desires.

3. What makes for a good healthcare power of attorney?

Many people think only relatives make a good power of attorney. In some instances, that proves untrue. You can name anyone you want as your medical proxy. The right person should have your best interests in mind, the capacity to discuss and understand medical information, the ability to make sound decisions quickly and disconnect personal emotions to follow your designated path of medical treatment.

As your life changes, you can change who you name as your medical power of attorney.