Along with a Living Will, another important document that should be part of your estate plan is a Health Care Power of Attorney. This document allows you to name another person (your agent) to make health care decisions for you. This document becomes effective only when your attending physician determines that you have lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions. Lack of capacity (or “incapacity”) should not be confused with “incompetency” which requires a judicial determination. While incapacity is required to make health care decisions on your behalf, a Health Care Power of Attorney also allows you to grant authority to your agent to obtain your protected health care information immediately upon executing the document and at any future time.
This document is important because it allows you to name a person that you trust and understands your wishes to make health care decisions on your behalf. Such wishes include your personal and religious values which are unclouded by personal feelings or influence from family and friends. This document provides you with a voice for critical decisions when you are unable to advocate on your own behalf. To discuss creating a Healthcare Power of Attorney, contact Jesse Bowman at the law office of Alexander, Webb & Kinman (513-228-1100).
This information is intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from a licensed attorney.