A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to name another person to act on your behalf. In Delaware, a power of attorney for health care is different from a permanent power of attorney. A power of attorney for health care relates to health care decisions, while a permanent power of attorney relates to financial matters. Each of these estate planning documents has different legal requirements, so it's important for people to understand what they mean before signing any document.
A general permanent power of attorney empowers the agent to make financial decisions and generally does not give the person the right to make decisions about health care. The power of attorney or abbreviation of POA is a document that allows a person (the principal) to allow a trusted person (the agent) the ability to make decisions on their behalf. The basic requirements for what should be included in a medical power of attorney are similar across the country. Usually, a medical power of attorney and a financial power of attorney are created in separate legal documents.
It is wise to discuss potential advantages and disadvantages (and ways to address disadvantages) with an attorney before granting lasting powers of attorney for health care to more than one person. The number provided represents the number of lawyers in the firm who have been selected for the Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists. Even if your agent has a medical power of attorney, your wishes must be honored, even if you don't have the ability to make medical decisions. The difference will be in the part of the document of the power of attorney where the principal specifies the powers granted to the agent.
Before you get a power of attorney, you should familiarize yourself with the common legal terms that you will find in that document. A medical power of attorney is a type of “advance directive” that provides a simple way to appoint a trusted person (an agent) to talk to your healthcare providers and make health care decisions for you (the director) when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. On the other hand, a power of attorney for health care is similar to a durable power of attorney for finance in that it gives another person the power of decision over their affairs. A medical power of attorney or health care proxy designates a person to make medical decisions for you when they no longer have the ability to do so.
As noted, the medical power of attorney can be signed before a notary public without the need for witnesses.