How Does My Durable Power of Attorney Agent Know What I Want?

A durable power of attorney for health care involves you assigning a certain person or persons to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so on your own. Your agent can make many different kinds of health care decisions including deciding who has access to your medical records, which medicines or treatments you do or do not want to receive and whether or not to discharge or admit you from a nursing home or a hospital.

Your agent can only make these decisions if you are unable to do so yourself and your wishes must be followed by the agent if those wishes have been documented. You can document these wishes in writing to ensure that your power of attorney agent knows what to do.

You might want to state whether or not you wish to donate any organs, how you want your body to be disposed of when you pass away, whether or not you want life sustaining treatment, such as being connected to feeding tubes, whether or not you want doctors to use other machines to keep you alive, or to name a person you want to be your legal guardian. You can choose anyone over 18 years of age who is not your physician to be your health care power of attorney. Your agent might be a friend, spiritual advisor or a family member.

One of the most important things to think about when you are naming someone as your health care power of attorney agent is their overall comfort in serving in this role and their ability to do so easily. Your chosen power of attorney agent should feel confident in carrying out your wishes. Make sure that you consult with an experienced Virginia Beach estate attorney if you have never created a power of attorney document before and need assistance with deciding this important next step.



How Do I Obtain or Remove a Durable Power of Attorney?

While you can find durable power of attorney forms online and download them today, it is always recommended that you speak with an estate planning attorney about your needs so that the lawyer can recommend the documents and language most appropriate to your particular situation.

If you are interested in obtaining or removing a power of attorney, you can revoke an existing power of attorney at any time so long as you are mentally competent to do so. It is strongly recommended that you only remove a power of attorney document in writing and to notify any businesses or financial institutions that your attorney in fact or agent has already interacted with.

If you are interested in revoking a power of attorney that was created by another loved one, this is more difficult. You might be able to take legal action to have a person who is abusing their power as an attorney-in-fact to be removed but you only need a dedicated elder law or estate planning attorney.

For more information about creating a new power of attorney, it’s a good idea to sit down with a trusted estate planning lawyer in Virginia Beach who can assist you with this entire process. There are many different factors to consider and it is important to contemplate your unique needs and individual goals as you move through this process.