Many people find comfort in having an established plan to address some of the most personal matters that may come into play if they become incapacitated. Creating a health care power of attorney can serve as a legal framework for individuals to protect their most intimate and consequential choices. For many, taking the time to consider such questions makes a lot of sense. It will establish a concrete and practical way to give loved ones a sense of confidence if a medical situation arises.
What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?
A health care power of attorney is a legal document that allows the signer to name another person as the decision maker in the event that they become unable to make their own health care decisions. The term may also refer to the person acting in the role of decision maker. In other words, if someone becomes incapacitated due to injury or disease, the power of attorney document will transfer decision-making power to the designated person.
Is There a Difference Between a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Will?
Having a health care power of attorney allows a person to choose a trusted individual to step in if they are unable to make their own health care decisions. On the other hand, a living will legally documents the choices to dictate how health care issues should be addressed.
One of the advantages of having a health care power of attorney is the flexibility it provides, which is useful in an unpredictable medical event. Both documents can co-exist and complement one another. A living will can lay out preferences for foreseeable possibilities. A power of attorney can make decisions that are not addressed in the living will.
Does a Health Care Power of Attorney Affect Estate or Personal Finances?
A health care power of attorney addresses the issues of medical treatments, the appropriateness of taking extreme measures to prolong life, and end-of-life care. A health care power of attorney does not affect a person’s estate or personal finances. While paying for health care expenses may be addressed in separate legal documents, the authority granted by a health care power of attorney is limited to these medical decisions.
What are the Benefits of a Health Care Power of Attorney?
A person designated as a power of attorney may feel more at ease with medical decisions for a loved one. Having a say in such things can be especially comforting. Even a perfectly healthy individual can benefit from knowing that they have established a legal avenue for a designated loved one to take control of difficult medical decisions.
Additionally, the process of creating a power of attorney allows for loved ones to have open conversations about end-of-life care. Having a conversation with loved ones is important. It also provides comfort to all involved because it establishes what to do if a medical situation arises. If a person wishes to create a health care power of attorney, they should contact a lawyer for assistance.
Media Estate Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Establish Health Care Decision Documents
If you wish to establish a health care power of attorney or living will, you should speak to one of our Media estate lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. today. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 for a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.