As we age, our health becomes more of a concern. In fact, taking control of our medical decisions is an essential part of planning for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about a medical power of attorney!
A medical power of attorney is a vital legal document that allows you to designate someone to make important healthcare decisions if you become unable to do so yourself. Known as your healthcare agent or surrogate, this person will make important medical decisions on your behalf when you cannot.
Most of us would like to think that we will always be able to make decisions about our health care. However, health issues and accidents do happen to even the most careful among us. In such cases, we might not be able to think or even speak clearly. That’s where a medical power of attorney comes in! Your healthcare agent will make medical decisions based on the wishes outlined in your POA. Some of the decisions your healthcare agent may have to make for you may include:
A few examples of medical conditions that could require your medical power of attorney to act on your behalf include:
When drafting your MPOA, you should be very clear about your wishes and instructions. Some of the essential information includes:
Choosing a healthcare agent is an important decision. Not only should you choose someone you trust, but you should also choose someone who understands your medical wishes and values. Your healthcare agent could be a family member, a friend, or even an attorney. Remember, though—it’s essential to think about what will happen if your healthcare agent is unavailable or unwilling to fulfill their duties. Have backup agents in place for any eventuality.
Your medical power of attorney is not a one-time document. Make sure to regularly review and update your medical power of attorney, especially every time you have a significant change in your life! By doing so, you can ensure your peace of mind. Knowing that someone else will be able to make healthcare decisions for you in difficult situations will make them easier to get through.
Originally published June 15, 2023