A medical power of attorney is a legal document that names one person as another person's health care agent. The agent has the ability to make health care decisions and the responsibility to ensure that doctors and other medical personnel provide necessary and appropriate care according to the patient's wishes. A health care power of attorney (HCPA) is a legal document that allows one person to empower another person to make decisions about their health care. A health care power of attorney refers to both a legal document and a specific person with legal authority.
A medical power of attorney, sometimes referred to as a medical POA, is an advance directive that deals with medical decisions. This legal document allows you to appoint an agent who will have the authority to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf. The agent you designate can only make these decisions if a doctor determines that you cannot make decisions on your own. In short, filing a medical power of attorney allows you to ensure that someone you trust can speak on your behalf if you become medically incapacitated.
It is not the same as a general power of attorney in the sense that medical power of attorney refers to health care decisions. For more information on durable powers of attorney, see the book Plan Your Estate, by Denis Clifford (Nolo). A medical power of attorney (POA) is a legal document used to appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. The person you choose as your agent can only use the power of attorney given to you by a medical POA if your doctor tells you that they cannot make key decisions on their own.
The medical power of attorney begins when your doctor tells you in writing that you cannot make medical decisions on your own. A medical power of attorney is a legal document used to appoint an agent and give you the authority to make medical decisions for you. Because Sharon wants to address all the nuances of her mother's health and directives, she gets advice from a lawyer after her mother's medical power of attorney is drafted. As painful as it is to say, losing the power to communicate your medical preferences happens more often than you might imagine.
Both the power of attorney and the executor of a will are persons legally appointed to help someone else manage their finances and affairs when they are incapacitated. However, even if you want to prepare your medical power of attorney document yourself, it is always helpful to consult with an estate planning lawyer who can tell you what documents you will need for your particular situation and needs. Your doctor is required to follow the instructions of the person you designate to have a medical power of attorney about you. Establishing a medical power of attorney can prevent your loved ones from making painful decisions in difficult situations.
A durable medical power of attorney is a type of health care directive, that is, a document that states your wishes for health care if you are ever too sick or injured to speak for yourself. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives the person you choose the power to act instead. Because a power of attorney is one of the most important legal documents you can have, it's important to know if you want a durable or regular power of attorney. The person you name is usually called your agent or de facto attorney, although they definitely don't have to be an attorney.