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Incapacity Planning: Creating a Medical Power of Attorney

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fort-worth-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgIn many cases, estate planning is focused on making decisions about what should happen after a person’s death. While this is an important issue to address, a family may also need to consider issues related to a person’s medical treatment and personal needs as they reach an advanced age. This aspect of estate planning is known as incapacity planning, since it will address how decisions will be made in any situations where a person becomes incapacitated, meaning that they cannot make decisions for themselves or cannot express their wishes to others. One of the key tools used for incapacity planning is a medical power of attorney.

Addressing Health Issues Through a Power of Attorney

In a power of attorney agreement, a person will name someone who will be allowed to make decisions for them. This person is known as their agent. When creating a power of attorney, a person will want to choose a person they trust to serve as their agent, such as an immediate family member or a close friend. 

With a medical power of attorney, an agent will have the authority to make decisions about a person’s health and personal needs. This may include deciding what types of medical treatment they will or will not receive, determining whether they should be admitted to a hospital or receive care in a nursing home, and addressing issues related to end-of-life care, such as deciding whether life-sustaining treatment should be provided or withheld. While a medical power of attorney will generally allow an agent to make any necessary decisions, a person can specify what types of decisions the agent can address, and they can also leave detailed instructions about their wishes for the types of care they do or do not want to receive.

Most of the time, a medical power of attorney will only go into effect if a person is incapacitated. A doctor will need to certify that the person is incapable of making health-related decisions on their own. The agent may then take steps to address the person’s needs for the rest of their lifetime or until they regain the capacity to make decisions for themselves. 

A medical power of attorney may be appropriate in the following situations:

  • As a person reaches an advanced age, they may no longer be able to fully address their own needs. By creating a power of attorney, they can make sure a loved one will be able to make decisions that will ensure they receive the proper care and treatment and are made as comfortable as possible.

  • If a person will be undergoing surgery or another major medical procedure, they may want to make sure they receive the proper treatment while they are unconscious or unable to communicate their wishes to others. A power of attorney will allow a loved one to oversee their treatment and make any necessary decisions on their behalf.

  • In situations where a person suffers from disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a power of attorney will ensure that a family member can make decisions about their care.

Contact Our Tarrant County Power of Attorney Lawyer

If you want to make sure you receive the proper medical treatment in situations where you may be unable to make your wishes known, or if you need to address your loved one’s medical and personal needs, Gonzalez Law, PLLC can help you understand your options for creating a power of attorney for healthcare. We will help you take steps to protect your rights and ensure that you or your loved one will receive the correct care in any situation that may arise. Contact our Fort Worth estate planning attorney at 817-349-7730 to arrange a free consultation. 

Sources:

https://www.moneycrashers.com/legal-facts-incapacity-planning/

https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/laws-regulations/forms/MPOA/MPOA.pdf

The First Step: Call Today
It is never too late to get help on your estate plan. To discuss your situation with a seasoned estate planning attorney, call our Fort Worth office at 817-349-7730. Or, reach out through our online contact form. We will respond as soon as possible.
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