Many individuals believe that estate planning is only for rich people. This is typically not the case, as certain aspects of an estate plan can ensure that individuals live the lives they envision for themselves until death. A medical power of attorney can be a helpful tool in any person’s estate plan, and a person in California may wish to review the roles and responsibilities of such a person as part of creating an estate plan.
During the time that a person may become incapacitated, a medical power of attorney can step in and relay the wishes of that person so they will be honored. A religious person who has strong views on blood transfusions may wish to choose a trusted individual to represent him or her in the event of a complication in which he or she cannot advocate for him or herself. The person chosen is considered the health care representative of the other person.
In the event of either life-threatening or non-life-threatening injuries, a medical power of attorney will be able to step in and advocate for the person. In the absence of this document, the person responsible for medical decisions will be determined by state law and may be either the parent, spouse or child of the person in medical need. A single person in a long-term relationship may wish to create a document that allows his or her partner to step in instead of a family member.
In California, a medical power of attorney can be a valuable tool that saves discord and confusion at a time of medical necessity. As part of an estate plan, it helps cover the person’s potential end-of-life needs. Many people select an attorney to help them create the document that names the person who holds this role.
Source: twincities.com, “Your Money: Medical power of attorney: the missing piece of too many estate plans“, Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, Dec. 16, 2017