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Facing a Serious Health Issue? Consider a Power of Attorney for Health Care

 Posted on August 14, 2019 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning attorneyAn unexpected illness or injury can happen to anybody. If you have been diagnosed with a serious health concern, you may worry about how medical decisions will be made if you cannot make them yourself. For example, if you fell into a coma, how would doctors know what type of medical treatment you do and do not consent to? In situations like these, a power of attorney for health care, or medical power of attorney, can allow you to choose a trusted representative who will make medical decisions on your behalf.

Responsibilities of a Medical Power of Attorney

Most people want to have a say in the types of medical treatment they do and do not wish to undergo. If you are worried that your health issues may worsen and you will not be able to speak for yourself in the future, consider choosing a representative through a healthcare power of attorney. This representative, called an agent or health care proxy, should be a person who you trust to follow your directions regarding medical treatment and care.

Your agent has the responsibility of working with doctors, surgeons, and other medical staff to ensure that you are only receiving the treatment that you have agreed to. Generally, a durable power of attorney for healthcare gives an agent the authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding medication, diagnostic tests, nutrition and hydration, surgery, and life-prolonging procedures like artificial ventilation and tube feeding. You will be able to more specifically define your agent’s decision-making authority when you fill out the healthcare power of attorney form.

Choosing the Right Healthcare Proxy

Once you have decided to plan for your future and protect your rights through a power of attorney, you will need to decide on a person to act as your health care proxy or agent. Many people choose a close friend of family member to be their agent. Your agent should have a good understanding of your medical history and current medical concerns, know the types of treatment you do and do not want, and be willing to take on the duties associated with being a healthcare proxy. Additionally, you want to choose someone who will be capable of handling the logistical and emotional strain of these responsibilities.

Contact a Lombard Estate Planning Attorney

For help establishing a durable power of attorney or other type of estate planning document, contact an experienced DuPage County estate planning lawyer. Schedule a confidential consultation with A. Traub & Associates by calling 630-426-0196 today.



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