None of us enjoy contemplating what would happen to ourselves or those close to us in the event we become incapacitated. Rather than think about those things, we tend to think “it will not happen to us,” or otherwise postpone thinking about it. This is a dangerous mentality, because failing to plan for these situations can lead to drastic consequences. A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is an important way to mitigate the consequences of incapacitation.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA HC) is a document that gives someone else the power to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make your own healthcare decisions.
A DPOA HC sets forth what types of decisions can be made on your behalf if you become incapacitated. For example, a DPOA HC covers decisions regarding life support, medical facilities and treatments, funeral arrangements, and other decisions.
A DPOA HC also sets forth who is going to make these decisions for you. The person you select to act on your behalf is called the healthcare agent. You should select someone who you trust and who you know will be there for you in the event you become incapacitated. It is also prudent to select a trustworthy back-up agent in case your initial agent is unable to make decisions.
One advantage of a DPOA HC is that gives you peace of mind knowing that if you were to become incapacitated, that you have someone you trust handling your healthcare decisions. Further, it will reduce the likelihood of family members and loved ones quarreling over what decisions should be made and who is going to make the decision. A DPOA HC also saves time and money because without one, you may have to go through a court process to determine your mental capacity and have the court appoint a person to make decisions for you.
To work effectively, a DPOA HC must meet statutory requirements and otherwise be carefully drafted. We, at the Morris Estate Planning Attorneys, can provide you with the type of professionalism, skill, and service you need to execute a valid DPOA HC and ultimately make an otherwise difficult circumstance more manageable for you and your loved ones.