Do I Need a Medical Power of Attorney?

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

A medical power of attorney, or medical POA, is a legal document that allows you to designate another person who can make medical decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated.

Do I need a Medical POA?

If you’re concerned that you may become ill or incapacitated in the future, a medical power of attorney can reduce stress on yourself and your loved ones, and make it easier to provide for your care. Read on to learn the benefits of a medical power of attorney, and decide if getting one is right for you.

Ensure health decisions are made according to your wishes.

When it comes to important medical decisions, things aren’t always black and white. Gray areas, like deciding how long to continue life-supporting efforts for a non-responsive patient, can cause great concern to medical providers and loved ones. A medical power of attorney can allow you to make your wishes clear in writing, and assign a trusted person to act according to your preferences.

Reduce stress on loved ones.

If you don’t sign a medical POA, your family members may be unsure of how to proceed in medical situations. They may feel uncomfortable making health decisions for you. In an already difficult time, a medical power of attorney can help your loved ones avoid unnecessary guilt and uncertainty.

Assign medical decisions to one party, and financial decisions to another.

A medical POA assigns someone to speak for you regarding healthcare decisions only. However, you may not wish for the same person to manage your financial accounts. If you choose, you can create a separate financial power of attorney or durable power of attorney, which assigns an agent to make financial decisions for you.

Make it easier for a spouse or loved one to manage your care.

If you don’t have a medical power of attorney in place, your spouse, adult children or relatives may not be authorized to make medical decisions for you. This can be frustrating, especially when the person closest to you knows what you would choose if you could, but can’t ensure your wishes are followed. A medical power of attorney makes it easier for others to manage your care.

Reduce stress on yourself, if you fear you may become incapacitated.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition, or if you have an upcoming surgery or medical procedure, you may be concerned about what could happen to you in the future. By creating a medical power of attorney, you can eliminate at least one source of stress in your life, by getting your affairs in order now.

Avoid costly legal fees.

It can be expensive for relatives or loved ones to gain court approval to make medical decisions for you. However, it’s surprisingly affordable to get a medical power of attorney online. For only $50, you can get a custom attorney prepared Medical POA.