Power of Attorney For Health Care and Living Wills

Although many of us – particularly lawyers – go through a lot of legal forms on a regular basis, there are perhaps no more important legal forms you’ll deal with than the ones that deal with both medical care and end-of-life scenarios. In the case of Power of Attorney forms for health care and living wills, you’ll really need to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

What exactly are you getting into? When you sign over Power of Attorney, you essentially give someone else the privilege of signing power over your life. They can write checks, handle expenses, and generally carry out all of your affairs. There are two situations in which a Power of Attorney Document will become necessary. If you are unable to handle your own affairs due to medical reasons, Power of Attorney needs to be handed over to someone you trust to handle your affairs. That person must be specified in the Power of Attorney document. A Power of Attorney for Health Care, gives the authority of Power of Attorney to a person you trust to make decisions about what type of medical care you will receive in the event you are unable to make those decisions yourself. If you wish to make certain decisions in advance about what decisions should be made about your future medical care in the event you are unable to do so at a later date, you can layout those wishes in a Living Will. In both cases, it is crucial that you have these documents prepared in advance.

Having the right documents in place for your care will be vitally important in ensuring that you’ll receive the proper care when you’re incapacitated. In order to do that, there are a few pieces of information you’ll want to be aware of.

Power of Attorney – Different forms include the health care form, which is the document we’re mainly concerned with here. The Health Care Power of Attorney form ensures that you’ll have your health care handled by the person you have designated in the event you become incapacitated or unconscious in some way. It is very important that you speak with the person you are granting authority to in advance, to make certain that the make decisions on your behalf that are in accordance with your wishes.

Living Will – A living will document lays out exactly what kind of health care you want to receive in certain future situations, in the event you are unable to give directives at that time. This is the only document that states how you want to be treated in life-or-death situations in which you can’t make a decision for yourself anymore. Thus, the Living Will is one of those documents that everyone should have.