Emergencies can happen at any time, which means it’s always a good idea to prepare for them. If you someday find yourself incapacitated, you may not be able to make your wishes known concerning your medical care and will have to rely on others to make those calls. In this scenario, the person you trust the most to make those decisions may not be the same person that the hospital asks to do so–unless, of course, you have given one of your loved ones health care power of attorney. In this article, our team at Bennett Guthrie Attorneys at Law PLLC, will go over more about what health care power of attorney is and how it works.
- What it Is. Health care power of attorney refers to a legal document that grants another person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf and is also used to refer to the person in question. In the event that you become impaired and unable to make decisions or communicate your wishes, this individual will be entrusted with making those choices instead.
- How it Works. While the specific regulations regarding health care power of attorney vary from place to place, in general it requires you to name an individual to act as your health care proxy, as well as alternate candidates should the first individual be unable to fill that role. The process to write an HCPA document is fairly simple–just fill out the necessary forms and have them notarized–but it’s always wise to have an attorney look everything over just in case. In addition, you can change your designated proxy at any time by destroying your old document and writing a new one.