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Power of Attorney Health (Living Will)
Power of Attorney Lawyers
One of the most important steps every single person should take in planning their estate is executing a Power of Attorney for Health. The purpose for the Power of Attorney for Health is to notify physicians of a person who you have nominated to make medical decisions for you should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself. It also allows you to inform the person you name as your attorney and the Doctor the amount of care you wish to receive should you be in a life-threatening condition.
As part of a comprehensive estate plan, Urban & Burt, Ltd’s estate planning lawyers will suggest that you also have prepared for you several other documents. The Power of Attorney for Healthcare, is also often referred to as a Living Will but they are separate documents. The Power of Attorney for Healthcare will allow you to designate an individual that you trust to make decisions about your healthcare should you not be able to do so on your own. If you should become incapacitated the individual is given the power to consent to or withdraw medical treatment on your behalf. The document may also include specific directions which you want to be followed regarding the treatment to be rendered. In addition to the Power of Attorney for Healthcare, a Living Will may contain more specific instructions about your wishes when you have been diagnosed with a terminal condition.
If you have not prepared and signed the Power of Attorney for Healthcare a Physician must declare your lack of decision making capability and then identify an individual to act on your behalf in the order listed below:
- A court appointed guardian of your person
- Your spouse
- Your adult children
- Your parents
- Your adult brothers or sisters
- Your adult grandchildren
- One of your close friends
- A court appointed guardian of your property
By preparing these documents your wishes can be more directly carried out.
By executing a Power of Attorney for Health you direct the doctors to listen to the person you name and give that person access to your medical records and information. The Power of Attorney for Health even gives the person the power to withdraw life support should an irreversible coma or other type of life-threatening medical condition arise. Without this document doctors may be forced to take whatever measures available to sustain the patient’s life, without considering the suffering that person might incur or the quality of life they will have afterwards. The Power of Attorney for Health is a critical piece of every Estate Plan produced by the attorneys of Urban & Burt, Ltd.
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