Medical Power of Attorney
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A medical power of attorney is when you authorize another person to make medical decisions on your behalf when you cannot. The person you authorize becomes your agent. Your health care agent has the authority to make life and death decisions for you according to your wishes.
When you ask someone to be your health care agent, you should think about
several things. For example, usually, it is best to name one person as your first choice and another as a backup.
Health Care Power of Attorney, POA, MPOA
A legal document authorizing someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person is also called an agent, attorney-in-fact, or surrogate. The agent only has this authority when your doctor determines you are incapable of making such decisions.
A legal document authorizing someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. The agent only has this authority when your doctor determines you are incapable of making such decisions.
State requirements differ. Almost every state will accept an agent who meets the following characteristics:
POAs are legal documents. All states recognize them if executed properly.
Requires “exact” adherence to form. If there is any ambiguity, the document may be disputed.
Signatures: the maker, the agent, with both notarized is probably safe in all states. Some states do not require notarization but require two signatures involving nonfamily, nonmedical and non-financial (i.e., not a beneficiary) involved persons.
Revocation requirements are part of the POA. Generally, a competent maker can revoke or modify at any time.
Other Resources For Medical Power of Attorneys
A good resource on medical POAs here.
Also, see our section on directives here.