Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Legal Article

Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Healthcare Powers of Attorney & Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney appoints someone to make health care decisions for you. However, it does not eliminate the need for a living will or other advance directives. If you do not have a power of attorney, an advance directive will instruct your physician as to the degree of care that you desire. If you do have a power of attorney, an advance directive provides your attorney with guidance on how to act. Finally, it is possible to combine healthcare powers of attorney, living will, and other advance directives in one document to ensure that your wishes are clear and can be properly carried out.

Why Provide Advance Directives?

Advance directives allow you to accomplish at least two things regardless of the provided guidance on some, all, or no treatment if you become incapacitated. First, they allow you to establish the degree of treatment you would like. Secondly, these directives remove the burden of making difficult health decisions from your family members. Additionally, providing explicit direction also helps avoid litigation.

What is the Health Care Power of Attorney?

A health care power of attorney is a legal document that is effective upon disability which appoints one or more persons, known as the attorney-in-fact, to make healthcare decisions during any period of incapacity. The health care power of attorney is only valid during your lifetime or until you revoke it. As long as you remain competent you can make any changes you like to your health care power of attorney.  If you become incapacitated prior to creating a health care power of attorney a guardian may be court appointed to make decisions during the period of incapacity. An attorney-in-fact may act immediately upon incapacitation while a court will not appoint a guardian for 8-10 weeks. Additionally, a court-appointed guardianship can cost thousands of dollars.

Contact our DC Law Office for More Information

For more information regarding healthcare powers of attorney, please contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.