Medical Powers Of Attorney

//Medical Powers Of Attorney

Medical Powers Of Attorney

It is typical to have an attorney prepare powers of attorney and other supporting documents in conjunction with having a Will drafted. There may be instances where you need a specific document rather than an entire estate plan. So what are powers of attorneys? Powers of Attorney are documents that a person signs, appointing an agent to act on their behalf, either effective immediately or to be effective upon later incapacity. The documents can be limited for a very specific purpose or can give broad authority. For this reason, you should never execute any powers of attorney until you understand exactly what the document says. Here is an overview of some types of powers of attorney: Statutory Durable Power of Attorney – This is a document that appoints an agent over your financial affairs. You can choose to give your agent a broad power, or you can limit it by allowing specific powers. Beware, however, that if this document is made to be effective immediately, it is the equivalent of giving someone your checkbook. There is always a potential for abuse. If you make the document effective upon your incapacity, then there could be a delay in the agent being able to act accordingly. You should appoint someone you trust to serve as your agent. Health Care Power of Attorney – This document appoints an agent to handle your medical affairs and make medical decisions on your behalf. Typically it is signed along with a HIPAA Release Form and a Directive to Physicians. Both documents are discussed below.

  • HIPAA Release Form – This form authorizes your health care provider to release your medical records to the named individuals. Although not always a problem, there have been times when an agent under a medical power of attorney could make medical decisions on the principal’s behalf but had no access to the medical records to make an informed decision. Having both documents together ensures this does not happen.
  • Directive to Physicians – This document is often referred to as a living will. It is different than a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) which many people confuse. A Directive to Physicians allows you to make decisions regarding the use of life support and other extra ordinary procedures in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition. This document allows you to make the decision in advance, taking the burden off your loved ones.

Declaration of Guardian in Event of Later Incapacity – The purpose of this document is to allow you to designate those individuals whom you wish to serve as your guardian if the need ever arises in the future. It also allows you to designate those individuals that you would NOT want to serve as your guardian. Though not binding on the Court, Judges do take these documents into consideration if you become incapacitated. Designation of Agent for Funeral Arrangements – While it would be nice to think that everyone could get along when a loved one dies, that is not always the reality. Sometimes family members are estranged or sometimes there are no family members left and it is necessary to designate one person to carry out your funeral arrangements. This document allows you to set forth your preferences for handling your remains, whether by a specific type of burial, cremation, or a celebration of life, and designates an agent to handle those arrangements.  Powers of Attorneys can be very specific such as a limited power for closing on the sale of a home or purchasing a home, or can be limited to a specific time period such as appointing an agent to handle your affairs in the U.S. while you are overseas for an extended period. Powers of Attorney can be drafted for medical purposes for minors or for enrollment in a school district. Because documents can be broad or very limited, you should discuss your options with an attorney to ensure you are executing the right documents to meet your specific needs. Call Us Today to learn more about your options.

By |2018-11-11T17:34:59+00:00June 22nd, 2018|blog|

About the Author:

Ronda S. Haynes is a North Texas Attorney dedicated to her clients and their needs. Working with due diligence to help North Texas families throughout the legal process. Every client deserves quality representation with honesty and integrity.
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