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Why Do You Need a Medical Power of Attorney?

In the estate planning process, you probably have heard that you need a medical power of attorney. This is a document that allows another person to handle your medical care if you can no longer make medical decisions for yourself. If you don’t have a medical power of attorney or if you are on the fence about whether you should have one, there are a lot of reasons why you should. Here is why you need a medical power of attorney.

What the Power of Attorney Can Do

Your medical power of attorney acts on your behalf during a medical emergency. If you are mentally incapacitated for any reason, whether from an accident or illness, a power of attorney can make medical decisions for you. This person has to be a mentally sound adult and should be someone that you trust. If you cannot communicate your medical wishes, then this is the person who can relay your wishes to the medical professionals.

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Power of Attorney

There are several conditions that require a medical power of attorney. If you’re involved in an accident that causes a mental impairment or where you lose consciousness for an extended period of time, you can’t make decisions for yourself. Without a power of attorney, who makes those decisions for you?

The decision is out of your hands if you suffer from an illness or injury that incapacitates you. The court has to designate someone to be in charge of the decision-making. Normally, this will be your next of kin. It may be a spouse or it could be your children. Your loved ones may struggle to figure out what your wishes would have been. There may be fighting amongst family members and you can never be sure that your loved ones will honor your wishes if they were unaware of them. To be appointed someone’s power of attorney is a big job. It is better if your power of attorney is prepared in case something were to happen to you.

You do not have to suffer from an illness or predict that you will be incapacitated to have a medical power of attorney. Many people choose to have a power of attorney to protect them in case of an accident or emergency. It is better to be prepared. To help you appoint a medical power of attorney, contact an estate planning lawyer, like the Yee Law Group for a consultation.

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