Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document that lets you give someone (called an “agent”) the power to make decisions about your healthcare if you are incapacitated. This document not only allows you to control who makes the decisions for you, but it also details the type of care you want (or don’t want) to receive if you become incapacitated.
If you do not have this document detailing your wishes and the trusted person or persons you want to make medical decisions for you, then the decision can end up in the hands of estranged family members, doctors, or sometimes even judges, who may know very little about what you would prefer.
Any person 18 years or older can make a valid document that gives instruction regarding his or her health care. The person must also have capacity–that is, be of sound mind and understand the document that he or she is signing.
Your Power of Attorney for Health Care can be springing (become effective if your doctor determines that are incapacitated– that is, unable to make your own health care decisions) or it can be drafted to be effective immediately upon signing.
So, if your document is springing and you have been injured or are sick to the point that you cannot make your own health care decisions, your agent under your Power of Attorney for Health Care will take over once your doctor determines that you do not have capacity to make your own decisions.
If your document is effective immediately, your agent will not need a doctor’s determination that you are incapacitated in order to act for you. This does not mean that your agent can override your decisions. You will still be able to make your own medical decisions.
For more information on Power of Attorney for Health Care, contact us at (818)649-9110 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.