Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A durable power of attorney for healthcare is a legal document that gives you the opportunity to name someone you trust to oversee your medical care and make health care decisions for you if you can't do it for yourself. No one ever expects to find themselves unable to communicate but needing to make life or death decisions. But when it happens, having prepared ahead of time makes the situation easier for everyone.
Everyone over 18 must have their own durable power of attorney for health care. By law, as soon as you turn 18 you become responsible for your own medical decisions. Without a durable power of attorney, in an emergency, there is no one legally recognized as able to speak for you.
Creating a durable power of attorney for health care is more than just completing forms. You want your legal document to say precisely what you want not what is available to check on a form. It is an opportunity for you and your loved ones to talk about what you would want to happen if the unexpected happened.
It helps to have someone to walk you through the decisions that would need to be made when you're thinking about such an overwhelmingly emotional subject. It's just too important to get tripped up by a form.
For example, if a doctor diagnosed you with possible brain damage and said you might not wake up. If he told your family that you could die without regaining consciousness but of course he couldn't say for sure.
What do you want your loved ones to say to the doctor? Would you want them taking a vote in the waiting room? The high emotions of that moment would probably alienate those who voted one way from those that voted another way. The memories would create a terrible next family gathering.
A durable power of attorney for healthcare is your opportunity to make a legally enforceable document created with your attorney stating what you want. A durable power of attorney for healthcare can protect your family in the event they are faced with a terrible and unexpected decision. Your decisions made ahead of time can take the heat off your family members.
You get to decide who will act for you when you cannot. You get to decide under what circumstances to have or not have life-prolonging treatment if a doctor says you are going to die and you are unable to answer his questions yourself. You can guide your family through the terrible decisions that would have to be made. You can relieve their burden and help them grieve by preparing a clearly understandable and effective durable power of attorney for health care.
You can help them now while no one thinks such a thing will ever happen.