A durable power of attorney is an important document that is likely included in your overall estate plan. It is impossible to know what kind of medical treatment choices that you might ultimately face in the future and to further complicate this matter, you might not always be in the mental state of mind or physical ability to be able to make these decisions on your own. If you are not able to make these decisions for yourself, you need to have another person appointed to step in to do so. This person is known as the agent on your durable power of attorney for health care.
An agent has a duty to you as the person who has created the document. This includes seeing that your wishes are followed, trying to decide what you want in the event that the wishes are not known and putting his or her choices for you before anyone else’s wishes for you.
A durable power of attorney for health care, it is important to note, does not enable that person to have control over your money and cannot be made to pay your bills unless you also have a separate financial power of attorney. Restrictions on what an agent can and cannot do will vary by one state to another. Make sure that you have a conversation with your estate planning attorney about what you hope to include in your durable health care power of attorney.
Depending on where you live, your home residence state might allow your agent to withdraw or refuse life enhancing care and refuse or stop tube feeding. To discuss your options, schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer today.