A durable medical power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf if you ever become physically or mentally incapable of doing so on your own. Without a durable medical power of attorney in place, your loved ones may be forced to go to court to prove that they have the authority to make healthcare choices for you. What may be even more distressing than the court process can be situations in which your loved ones don’t know what you would have wanted or what healthcare choices you would want them to make on your behalf when you have become mentally or physically incapacitated.
To clearly layout your wishes in such cases so that your loved one (or someone else) can effectively act on your behalf, it’s crucial to set up a durable medical power of attorney. Because you never know what tomorrow will bring, it’s never too early to set up these directives. Therefore, don’t put off meeting with the Centennial estate planning lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC to discuss your options and get professional assistance creating a durable medical power of attorney.
How Durable Medical Powers of Attorney Work
Also referred to as a durable power of attorney for health care, a durable medical power of attorney is a healthcare directive that essentially outlines a person’s wishes for his health care so they can be carried out when he is unable to articulate these wishes himself. In these directives, a person will choose someone who will have this power of attorney. This individual may be referred to as the agent, the attorney-in-fact or the health care proxy.
In the event that a person becomes ill or injured to the point where he is unable to communicate his healthcare wishes to his doctors, the agent with the durable medical power of attorney for the ailing person will assume the power to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the ailing person.
Some of the types of healthcare decisions that may be made, based on the terms of the durable medical power of attorney, can include (but are not limited to) decisions that impact:
- Types of interventions that can (or should not) be administered to try to restore a person’s health
- How a person is fed
- Breathing and life-support assistance
- Palliative care (such as treatment for pain or possible discomfort)
- Whether a person wants to participate in medical research related to his condition.
It’s important to note that the agent for an ailing individual is required to strictly comply with the terms of the medical power of attorney to the extent possible. This means that, regardless of what the agent may want, he must make decisions as the ailing person has directed in healthcare directive.
Denver Estate Planning Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC
When you are ready to set up a durable medical power of attorney, you can turn to the estate planning lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning needs, and we are committed to helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.
To learn more about a durable medical power of attorney, schedule an initial consultation with us. To set up this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.
From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.