Estate Planning For The Long Run

Estate Planning For The Long Run

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

August 11, 2013

Little else causes us more stress, time, money, and grief than when our health, or the health of a close family member or friend, is seriously threatened. It is something we do not like to think about and hope never happens to us. Unfortunately, it is very possible that either us or a loved one will, at sometime or another, become incapacitated whether it be through an accident, old age, or some other means. When this does happen, we do not want to be unprepared or unable to handle important health care decisions. With a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOA HC), this does not have to be the case.

Putting it simply, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that allows individuals to authorize another person(s) to make health care decisions for them in the event  they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make health care decisions for themselves . It makes dealing with health issues less stressful, less time consuming, and less costly.

Picture a scenario where a man is involved in an accident and only remains alive after being hooked up to life support. Although he knows how he wants his health care decisions made, his loved ones do not and he does not have a DPOA HC that legally validates his desire. Now, under the distress of the tragedy, his loved ones begin to worry and are unsure who is authorized to make the decision to keep him on life support or not and how his medical expenses will be handled, among other things. Again, the man knows how he wants this handled, he just does not have the document to validate it. This puts unnecessary burdens on everyone, and this is only a basic example.

There are many important aspects that go into drawing up a DPOA HC. Some important things to know are first, you should have one if you do not and second, you should appoint only person(s) who you completely trust and feel comfortable with making these decisions for you. You will understand everything else when you come in to create or update your DPOA HC.

The idea of your loved ones having to deal with your incapacity is difficult enough already; you do not want to risk additional, unneeded stress and complications by failing to get your health care affairs in order.