Medical powers of attorney (sometimes referred to as health care proxies) are legal documents authorizing a representative to make health care decisions for you if you are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to make medical decisions for any other reason. Anderson Estate Planning can help you establish durable medical powers of attorney (MPOA) to facilitate the best decisions regarding your health care under any circumstances.
How Medical Powers of Attorney Work
In situations of incapacity or medical emergency, valid medical powers of attorney ensure your caregivers can have instructions from someone you trust while providing medical care.
Your medical powers of attorney are in force only when you are unable to manage your healthcare. If you regain your ability to make decisions about your medical treatment (e.g., you recover your mental faculties after being in a coma), all authority over your medical decisions reverts to you. You can revoke your MPOA anytime.
Common situations that warrant the use of medical powers of attorney include:
- Surgery under general anesthesia
- Stroke and other illnesses that impair the ability to communicate
- Unconscious state or coma
- Advanced Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other conditions that impair decision-making abilities
Who Can Serve as a Health Care Agent in Texas?
Any competent person over 18 can act as your health care agent, except for your doctor, nursing home care provider, or their employees. The only exception to this rule is when the employee is also your relative. For example, if your sister works as a nurse for your primary physician, you can appoint her as your health care agent.
Above all, you want to choose an agent you trust to honor your wishes, especially in sensitive situations. Your agent should thoroughly understand your health care preferences and be committed to promoting your medical choices.
Why You Should Appoint a Health Care Agent Today
It can be uncomfortable and scary to contemplate a situation in which you cannot make decisions regarding your medical care. Medical emergencies, stroke, dementia, and other health crises are beyond our control, but medical powers of attorney allow you to declare who oversees your medical care under such circumstances and ensure it is someone you trust.
It’s important to keep in mind an individual can only sign or change medical powers of attorney while they have full use of their mental capabilities. If a person has advanced dementia or becomes incapacitated following an accident, their family may have no choice but to initiate guardianship proceedings.
Completing medical powers of attorney ahead of time enables you to establish a health care plan and appoint an agent who will carry out your wishes. Appointing a health care agent as soon as possible is especially crucial if:
- You are preparing for a major medical procedure during which you will be under general anesthesia.
- You received a diagnosis of a degenerative disease like dementia, Alzheimer’s, or ALS.
Anderson Estate Planning: Durable Medical Powers of Attorney in Dallas, TX
Set up medical powers of attorney today to safeguard your health care plan tomorrow. Call (469) 207-1529 or contact us online for legal advice on medical powers of attorney in DFW or anywhere in Texas.