How does a medical power of attorney work?

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Thinking about the future can leave you anxious as a result of all the uncertainties. However, taking the time to plan for the future can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on living life to the fullest. Though you likely know the importance of creating a will or trust, you may also want to consider setting up a medical power of attorney. If you’re unfamiliar with what this entails and how to establish this authority, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll also discover how Pennsylvania POA attorneys can help guide you through this complex process.

What is a medical power of attorney?

A medical power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to grant someone legal authority surrounding your healthcare if you become unable to make these decisions on your own. This includes decisions about treatment plans, where you receive care, medications, and end-of-life care.

This plan allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make decisions regarding your healthcare if you fall into a coma, are under anesthesia, cannot communicate, or have a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s. As you are unable to consent or communicate in these instances, it’s important to have someone who understands your wishes to make these decisions for you.

Without a power of attorney, Pennsylvania law has a successive list of entities that can make decisions regarding your healthcare if you do not have a POA. This includes a spouse followed by an adult child, then a parent. However, appointing someone to make decisions is an essential way to protect your best interest. For example, if your daughter is a doctor, you will likely want to trust her with that responsibility.

How can I set up this document in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a medical power of attorney is often also referred to as a durable power of attorney for healthcare. To set up this document, you must first decide who you would like to assume this role and what decisions they should be able to make. Once you have made your decision, you’ll then need to complete the process of filling out the form according to Pennsylvania laws. This includes having witnesses present when you sign and notarize the document. You should also give copies of the form to the appointed party, your doctor’s office, and your attorney.

It’s important to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate this process. Though creating this document seems simple, it’s important to understand that if this form is deemed invalid, your medical power of attorney will not be able to make decisions on your behalf. As such, completing this form under the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney is vital.

If you’re ready to secure your future by creating a medical power of attorney, the dedicated legal team at Friedman Schuman is ready to help. Our firm has the experience you need to make this complex process as simple as possible for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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