A power of attorney for health care is a document that names someone that you know and trust to handle a critical component of your life if you are unable to in the future. It is often called an advance health care directive. The person who you name is called your agent. This document is designed to avoid a conservatorship court proceeding if you become incapacitated and cannot manage your personal care.
Those critical components of your life includes:
- Your personal care (including your well-being); and
- Your medical decisions.
In other states, powers of attorney for health care sometimes are called living wills. The title of a particular document isn’t what matters. What matters is the substance of what the document says.
Your Agent is Given Power to Make Your Personal Care and Medical Decisions for You
Someone that you know and trust is named as your agent. That person is able make personal care decisions for you if you become unable to manage your affairs in the future. Your agent is able to manage all of your personal care decisions for you, including where you live, who you spend your time with, and what medical treatments you receive.
The power of attorney for health care document should include a lot of specific directions that specify different types of medical treatments that you want in different types of situations. That way, your agent has a road map to use to carry out your wishes when you cannot communicate them yourself.
It’s always best to sit down with your agent ahead of time to discuss what is in the document. This will give them a better understanding of the specific decisions you want them to make.
Conservatorship Court Proceeding May Be the Only Option Without Power of Attorney for Health Care
Without this power of attorney, there’s a good chance that the court will be involved with you and your personal affairs at some point through a conservatorship court proceeding if you become unable to manage your personal affairs.
Contact Meinzer Law Firm, P.C., in Torrance to assist you with your estate planning so someone that you know and trust can handle your personal care if you cannot do it anymore in the future for some reason.