Unfortunately, we cannot all be sure that we will maintain all of our faculties until the day that we pass away. That is why we sometimes have to make plans for when we cannot make decisions on our own, including medical decisions. That is why assigning someone to have your medical power of attorney is an important step of the estate planning process and one that our power of attorney lawyer in Rockland County would be happy to help you with.
What Can You Do With Medical Power of Attorney?
When you name someone your agent using the medical power of attorney document, you are giving them the authority to make any important medical decisions for you. This can include:
- Choosing a doctor or hospital
- Deciding whether you should get surgery or another type of treatment
- What kinds of tests and exams you should be subject to
- How aggressively a disease should be treated
- Weighing whether or not to disconnect life support
These are all big decisions, so it is important to think hard about who could best express your wishes for you if you cannot.
When Would I Need My Agent to Make Decisions On My Behalf?
Giving someone medical power of attorney does not mean that they automatically get to make your healthcare decisions for you. They only get to decide what happens when you are incapacitated. This can occur when you are in a coma or if you have a disease that could cause your facilities to degrade over time, like Alzheimer’s.
When you are in sound mind, you can make your own decisions even after giving someone else medical power of attorney. You can also revoke their status and assign it to someone else. You can even name one person as your agent and make another person a backup in case the originally chosen person cannot fulfill their duties.
How Do I Assign Medical Power of Attorney?
There is an official process for giving someone medical power of attorney. In New York, a form needs to be filled out that designates someone as your agent. You can also appoint an alternate agent and set a date when this agreement would expire. If you do not set a date, the state will see this person as your healthcare proxy in perpetuity.
You can leave some instructions on the form and consent to organ donation. You also need two witnesses, neither of which were named your agent or alternate agents early, to sign. If you have any confusion about the process, one of our attorneys will be glad to assist you.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer
Choosing the right person to give your medical power of attorney to is a big decision. If you need the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer, contact the Lauterbach Law Firm and schedule an appointment.