Instead, a POA allows you to take back control and proactively choose who YOU want to represent your best interests. By taking the time to create this important document, you can prevent both individual and familial suffering.
In addition, if you ever become incapacitated, without this document, even if you have a spouse, the court may need to step in and appoint a guardian or conservator for you. The process of appointing a guardian is costly and requires the guardian to formally report your situation to the court each year. CNN Money estimates that the process of obtaining a court appointed guardian exceeds $1,000. If this is the situation you find yourself in now, please read our guide about getting guardianship over your elderly parent here.
A Power of Attorney is also not like a bilateral agreement, it is more of a unilateral description of what authority is permitted by the principal.
A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name your health agent, someone who will make health decisions for you if you cannot. Your health care agent will also ensure that your health care providers give you the care you wish to receive. You can also require that your health care agent communicate in any manner with you about any specific proposed health care. For example, you may still be able to communicate by blinking your eyes. Many states, however, combine a Living Will and Power of Attorney into one advance directive form.
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