Should I have a durable power of attorney for health care?

The durable power of attorney for health care is another documents that should go hand in hand with the living will as part of a person’s estate planning. The durable power of attorney for health care works much in the same manner as a limited power of attorney. It assigns the right of making health care decisions to a trusted party in the event the maker is incapacitated and not able to make decisions for themselves.

Often the durable power of attorney is given to one or more children, or a spouse and an assigned child. In this manner, not just one person is making a life-altering (or ending) decision all by themselves. Not only does this give the patient peace of mind in knowing that at least two people will be discussing the best option and taking a sensible course of action, but it relieves just one person from making a decision which could result in death, and then holding themselves responsible for what they felt was the right thing to do. Additionally, assigning more than one person to the durable power of attorney for health care can eliminate snap decisions, which might be different, had more thought been given to all options. Some states require that one person hold the power with alternatives given. Even in this situation, both these people can obviously discuss the situation and help each other reach the best decision. The durable power of attorney for health care can stipulate what the patient is in favor of for treatment and what they reject, giving the assignees guidelines in their decision making. The durable power of attorney should go hand in hand with a living will. Both documents are essential if you want your wishes to be known prior to an event where people have to make decisions on your behalf.

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