What happens if you are incapacitated (or temporarily unconscious) and cannot make your health care decisions? These decisions range from a simple surgical procedure to life sustaining treatment such as life support, and are impossible to predict before an emergency arises. Be prepared for any situation by appointing your spouse, adult child, or other family member as your agent under the Power of Attorney for Health Care. Once appointed, your agent will be empowered to act in your best interest and to direct doctors or other health care personnel in the administration of your healthcare.
Appointing an agent under the Power of Attorney for Health Care allows you to have a plan in place now and avoid putting your family in an unfortunate situation emergency room situation where doctors are demanding that someone fill out a power of attorney for health care form before they will provide treatment. If no one has been appointed with a power of attorney, the doctors may refuse to follow your family’s wishes until such a time as a Guardian is appointed for you in a court proceeding. These court proceedings take time, money, and can cause damaging and emotional battles among family members.
Unless you indicate otherwise, your agent under the Power of Attorney for Health Care has the authority to donate your organs, order an autopsy and dispose of your remains.
Our estate planning attorneys at Spesia & Ayers have been advising clients for many years with regards to the appointment of an agent under the Power of Attorney for Health Care ensure that if you are incapacitated, someone with authority to make medical decisions on your behalf is already in place, allowing your family to focus on what is really important.