What You Need to Know About Health Care Power of Attorney

In any discussion regarding your medical care and treatment, it is important to prioritize your health needs and concerns. Although this is not a matter we like to think about, there may come a time where you are unable to communicate your medical needs with a doctor. Having a health care power of attorney in place ensures that your wishes regarding medical treatment are fulfilled.

Health Care Power of Attorney

Health care power of attorney (HCPA) can be a difficult subject for many people to understand because it refers to both a legal document and a particular person of your choice. A health care power of attorney is a document that provides legal authority to a specific person to make medical decisions on your behalf. This document designates someone as a representative when you are unable to communicate healthcare decisions. It is important to choose someone you trust as your HCPA because they may oversee the making of life-or-death decisions for you. This person will serve a vital function in establishing adequate care and treatment for yourself. Without an HCPA in place, you run the risk of having no one to effectively communicate with doctors for the sake of your wellbeing. A power of attorney is important before you need it so that you can make medical decisions while you are healthy and of sound mind.

Assigning a HCPA

In the state of Maryland is easy to assign a HCPA, but it does require professional guidance. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney who can explain the process in plain terms. Who you select as your health care power of attorney is entirely up to you! However, you should consider the amount of trust you have in this person and if they are competent to fill this role. This can be a very personal decision because you will have to share intimate self-knowledge about your medical wishes and plans. This person will be a significant aspect of your treatment during your illness and even at the end of life. It is also important to note that you are free to change this appointed person at any time you see fit. It may seem unnecessary to assign a health care power of attorney, especially if you are young but illness and accidents befall us all. It is crucial to appoint a trusted friend, relative, or colleague as your HCPA before there is a crisis.

At Frame & Frame, our Maryland estate planning attorneys care about each of the clients we represent. We have been providing a wide array of estate planning services for over 70 years.  Download the free guide to estate planning to learn more about the importance of a health care power of attorney.  Our caring attorneys can help you through the process to ensure you feel confident and prepared in your decision. Visit us online to schedule a private consultation today.