A medical power of attorney is a legal contract that specifies who will make all of your medical decisions if you are not able to make them by yourself. This contract is called a durable power of attorney, meaning it activates once you are decided to be unfit or incapacitated.
Why You Need a Medical Power of Attorney
Nobody wants to imagine a day that you may not be able to participate in your medical decisions. If you are young and healthy, you may not think choosing someone as your medical power of attorney is necessary. But circumstances can change in a blink of an eye, whether it be an accident or a health emergency.
Consider thoughtfully who you might choose as medical power of attorney. For example, you may want to think about someone with these characteristics:
- Thinks Clearly in Emotional Situations: Who is able to make decisions without letting stress or sensitive situations cloud their judgment? Maybe a brother or a niece may be a good choice.
- Understands Medical Vernacular: Be sure to choose a friend or family member that can follow along as the doctors describe your condition and the choices for treatment. If they become confused and overwhelmed with information outside of their field of expertise, choose someone who may be better equipped to understand.
- Has Your Best Interest in Mind: Choose a person that you can trust to think of all aspects of your life. They might need to consider your occupation or your family’s needs.
- Has a Full Understanding of Your Medical Wishes: Sit down with the person you choose to be your medical power of attorney and go through potential scenarios. Explain to them what you would want to have done in each scenario. This thorough communication is vital when choosing a medical power of attorney.
Before you briskly choose your next of kin, think about who the best person for the job might be. You want to choose someone who would make the same decisions as you would if you were able. Then, once you make the decision, you will feel at ease knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected.
Do you have your affairs in order if something were to happen to you? Do not delay appointing a medical power of attorney. Shoup Legal can help you with the process. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or [email protected] to ask the questions that will get you started.