Medical Power of Attorney
Your Medical Directives
As part of an estate plan, an important legal document is called a medical power of attorney. The purpose of a medical directive, or power of attorney (POA), is to provide specific instructions to your heirs as well as whoever is in charge of your estate. Legally, your ‘agent’ must be a mentally competent adult. In most states, the law provides that someone who is your health care provider may not serve as you agent. It does not need to be a family member. Additionally, the difference between medical and durable power of attorney is that by signing a durable power of attorney, you authorize another person to engage in specified business, financial and legal transactions on your behalf. It is called “durable” because it does not terminate if you become disabled or incapacitated.
Important questions must be addressed such as do you want to be resuscitated in the event of a medical emergency? Do you wish to be kept on life support when there is little or no chance of recovery? If you are suffering from a serious illness or injury would you rather let nature take its course? These are important directives to a doctor or hospital to make sure that your medical wishes are properly conveyed. You want your medical issues properly handled through a medical power of attorney.