Kennewick Healthcare Power of Attorney
If you are ever incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, a healthcare power of attorney can ensure that your last wishes are still fulfilled. A healthcare power of attorney gives someone significant authority over your life, so it is critical that you choose who that person is wisely. Below, our Kennewick healthcare power of attorney team outlines more about these important documents and how we can help you prepare yours.
What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
A type of advance directive, a healthcare power of attorney outlines which individual you want to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated due to an accident or illness. A healthcare power of attorney is an important part of any estate plan, as you never can know when you will suffer from a serious illness or become physically or mentally disabled due to an accident. The individual you name to make decisions for you is known as your agent.
Who Should You Name as Agent in Your Healthcare Power of Attorney?
Within your healthcare power of attorney, you will name an agent who is willing and able to carry out your wishes in case you cannot do so yourself. Most people choose a trusted family member or a very close friend.
Regardless of who you appoint as your healthcare power of attorney, it should be someone you trust deeply, and who has a clear understanding of the responsibilities they will have. You can also name alternative agents in the event that the original agent is unable or unwilling to make the decisions. If you ever need to change your agent, you still have the authority to do so as long as you have the legal mental capacity to do so.
How Does a Healthcare Power of Attorney Become Official?
Simply filling out a form and signing it is not enough to classify a healthcare power of attorney as legally binding. You must sign and date the document before two witnesses or before a notary public. If you choose to sign in front of witnesses, there are requirements on who can act as a witness. Witnesses cannot be related to you by blood or marriage, and they cannot be your long-term care or home care provider.
Additionally, it is also often recommended that you create a living will as well as your healthcare power of attorney. A living will can outline the life-saving measures you do want, or do not want, in life and death situations. You should also inform your agent, as well as your healthcare providers, about your end of life wishes. Physicians are legally bound to the terms in a living will or healthcare power of attorney.
Call Our Healthcare Power of Attorney Law Firm in Kennewick Today
At Moulton Law Offices, P.S., our Kennewick healthcare power of attorney team can review the facts of your case and draft a power of attorney that will clearly outline your last wishes. Call us now at 1-509-328-2150 or fill out our online form to book an appointment and to get more information.