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Medical Power Of Attorney

Medical Power of Attorney In Arizona

What happens when you can’t speak to your doctors about the kind of care you want? 

End-of-life care is an uncomfortable topic for most people. You could wind up in coma or life support someday, and be unable to make medical decisions on your own. Painful as it is, these kinds of situations happen more often than we’d like.

Your estate plan should include a Medical Power of Attorney to help you prepare for any possible healthcare decision you may need to make in future. You will help save your loved ones from the emotional distress of fighting in court for the right to choose what medical measures to take to save or extend your life.

What is a “Medical Power of Attorney”?

When you create an estate plan, one critical issue to think over is who will make your medical decisions if you cannot.

A Medical Power of Attorney appoints the person you trust to make your health care and/or mental health care decisions if you are unable to do so. It contains instructions about your wishes regarding life support in a hopeless medical situation. You want your loved ones to know exactly what you would have wanted.

Medical Power of Attorney vs Living will

A living will states all your preferences about end-of-life medical treatment in specific medical situations. However, it won’t apply unless you are permanently incapacitated or in a potentially life-ending situation.

On the other hand, a Medical Power of Attorney gives someone (often referred to as your agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to make medical decisions for you.  As such, it provides for medical decisions that are outside the scope of your living will.

Usually, both your Living will and Medical Power of Attorney work together to ensure that you receive the type of care you want and no one violates your wishes.

When do I need a Medical Power of Attorney?

Medical power of attorney becomes effective in the event that you do not have the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Typically, in situations like; Coma, mental health lapses keeping you from being of sound mind, when you’re under anesthesia and surgery complications arise, and during long-term health crisis.

Choosing a Medical Power of Attorney

It is important to choose someone whose decisions you can trust as your agent or attorney-in-fact. Some things to look for are:

You should ask the person you select if they are willing to take on this responsibility. You might also want to consider having an alternative power of attorney in case your first choice is unable to perform.

What does your Medical Power of Attorney allow your Agent to do?

Some important healthcare decisions that the MPA authorizes your agent to make for you are;

How to Get Medical Power of Attorney

There are available Medical Power of Attorney form templates online. However, these forms vary by state and you have to use the correct form for your state. It is always helpful to consult with a professional estate planning attorney who can help you with the documents you will require.

You have to distribute copies of your advanced directives with your family members, primary care physician, and your estate planning attorney.