Houston Estate Planning Lawyer
Houston Medical Power Of Attorney
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is an estate planning legal document that gives authority to a person to act on your behalf if you are unable to communicate. It is a legal action allowing you to select an individual that you want to make healthcare decisions for you when you’re unable to do them yourself. Settling a medical power of attorney is a vital step to make sure that the law will carry out your wishes or end-of-life desires regardless of the medical conditions or circumstances you face either physically or mentally. This advanced medical directive allows you to formally name a loved one who will act on your behalf if you are unable to communicate and make difficult decisions. This gives you the opportunity to make decisions for yourself while you are able. And in certain situations, you’re able to convey your wishes for treatment, assured that these needs will be met by your power of attorney. Nonetheless, it will not be valid if you are disabled unless it is a durable power of attorney.
With the use of a durable power of attorney, you are able to decide who will manage all your assets including health care and financial affairs, if ever you become incapacitated.
When Will a Medical Power of Attorney Be Necessary?
A Medical Power of Attorney is used when you are unable to make healthcare decisions about yourself. Take for instance, if you become unconscious after a car accident and you need a blood transfusion; or if you have Alzheimer’s Disease and you need medical treatment, then this is where a Medical Power of Attorney comes in.
Health Care Proxy And Medical Powers Of Attorney In Houston
The medical power of attorney has decision-making power, however, that authority only expires after you die. If you are single or you don’t have any family members, then it’s a very significant advanced medical directive to have. Moreover, it also serves a meaningful purpose if you don’t want family members to make these decisions for you. Therefore, allowing you to appoint someone who wouldn’t have the authority by health and safety codes. The medical power of attorney also plays a significant role in end-of-life counseling for same-sex couples. Since the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, there would be no agreement with your wife or spouse on such decisions. This will protect both you and your spouse.
Is a Medical Power of Attorney really necessary? Do I really need one?
Yes, indeed. Whatever decisions you choose to make in your Living Will must be obeyed by the person you appoint as your Medical Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney makes it clear to health care professionals who you want to make health care decisions for yourself. Nonetheless, it is not the same as a General Power of Attorney in the sense that a Medical Power of Attorney speaks matters related to health care decisions.
What exactly are those Healthcare Decisions you are talking About?
Any decision that you make that is related to your health and safety. The person you name could be limited to certain types of decisions. (Take for instance, the choice to provide you with life support when there is no hope that you will get better.) On the other hand, you could allow your primary agent to make any possible health care decisions. Including decisions to revoke, give or withdraw consent to any kind of healthcare like surgical and medical treatments.Treatment in a nursing home, hospitalization, nursing care, and organ donation are other choices that may be considered.
How is this Different from a Living Will?
A Living Will is a declaration of your own choices. This tells the doctor that if there is no hope of getting better, then you don’t want to be kept alive only by machines. While a Medical Power of Attorney gives power to a primary agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. This is meant to handle situations you can’t predict and make sure the law will carry out your wishes. And because these situations are unpredictable, you can’t decide in advance what decision you’d make. Nonetheless, the medical power of attorney will enable you to select a person whom you trust to make such decisions when you can’t make them yourself.
If I’m still able to make my own choices, will the person I name as Medical Power of Attorney have any control over my medical care?
No, No, and No!
The person you appoint as your Medical Power of Attorney has no power until you are unable to communicate and make your own decisions.
Can I Name a Back-up Representative or an Alternative Agent in Addition to My First Choice?
Yes, indeed. You are able to appoint either one or more successor representatives or alternative agents to play this role if your first choice is unwilling, unable, or disqualified to serve.
What Type of Things Can My Representative Do as Medical Power of Attorney?
The person you select as your Medical Power of Attorney will be able to make any decisions that you require related to your healthcare. Such decisions include withdrawing, giving, or withholding consent to any kind of health care, including surgical and medical treatments. Other possible decisions include hospitalization, lifelong interventions, home health care, nursing care, nursing home treatment and donation of organs.Your representative may have access to your medical records and decide about pain relief measures. Your Medical Power of Attorney may be as broad or as narrow as you wish. You can also clearly write that your Medical Power Attorney Representative must not have the authority to make these decisions. Or you can specify exactly what decision you’d like your representative to make. For instance, you may write that your medical power of attorney representative shall not have access to your medical records.
How Can I Guarantee that the Decisions Made by My Medical Power of Attorney Representative are the Ones I Would Agree With?
You can do a number of things to help your representative make decisions to which you would agree.
- You can write your wishes down. You may include specific instructions to cover specific circumstances or you may also include your personal values to guide your representative in making decisions.
- Talk about your desires. Discuss your wishes with the person you choose as your representative. Share them with your personal values and beliefs. And make sure they know the things you definitely want and not at all.
Who should I appoint as my Medical Power of Attorney Representative?
You must choose someone who knows you well and who you trust the most to make difficult decisions on your behalf. You may or may not want to appoint a loved one or a member of your family as your Medical Power of Attorney representative. Always remember, that some of the decisions your representative will make can be very tough. Some family members may even find it difficult to resolve their own emotions and make decisions based on your personal beliefs. But what matters is how you choose someone whom you trust most to make decisions for yourself based on the values you have laid out.
Must My Medical Power of Attorney Representative Pay My Medical Bills?
No! A Medical Power of Attorney only gives authority to the person you appoint to make decisions related to health care. However, this doesn’t give him/her the right to pay your medical bills. But, if you’d like, you will need a Durable Financial Power of Attorney. It may seem possible for the same individual to hold both of your Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney, but if it’s not the case, then your representative has no financial authority.
What requires a Medical Power of Attorney to be valid? Seven specifications exist:
- You must be an adult or a responsible minor;
- The Medical Power of Attorney must be in writing;
- You have to sign it;
- You have to date it;
- You have to sign it in the presence of at least two witnesses that are at least 18 or older;
- Such signatures must be acknowledged by a notary public;
- It should include the following language or substantially similar wording: This Medical Power of Attorney will only be effective once I am unable to provide, revoke or withhold informed consent to my own medical care. However, people under the age of 18 are assumed to lack capacity. To defeat this assumption, people under the age of 18 must undergo with a doctor or psychologist’s examination to determine that they have the ability to make significant health care decisions. Such people are referred to as “mature minors” once this recognition is made.
At The Law Office of Troy M. Moore, PLLC, we will carry all the work for you in creating a medical power of attorney to make sure we place you critical medical decisions in the hands of someone you deeply trust. We don’t just give time, but we make one – to listen to your legal issues and plan the power of attorney. One that reflects your desires and gives you peace of mind as you choose.
To learn more about how our lawyers can help you establish a medical power of attorney as part of a comprehensive plan for the future, get in touch with our Houston, Texas estate planning lawyer and discuss your case with us. Contact our Cypress Location today at 281-970-8039 to arrange a free consultation now! Our office opens at 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we also provide a free phone consultation to all prospective clients.
We will give you the voice. Let us speak for you.