A medical power of attorney is a legal document that gives official power to an agent of your choosing. When medical decisions need to be made and you have been incapacitated, this agent can legally take over and make those decisions.
You can see why it’s so important to have the right person if you have a stroke, get injured in a severe car accident, suffer from a degenerative brain disease or something of that nature. But how do you pick the right person?
Find someone who is willing
First and foremost, you always want to talk to the person that you are choosing in advance and ask them if they would even be willing to do the job. Keep in mind that they may have to make difficult decisions, such as when to turn off life support for what medical procedures to authorize. Not everyone wants to have this responsibility.
Find someone who understands
Additionally, you want someone who is fairly close to your situation and understands what type of care you need. Beyond that, you need someone with the critical thinking skills and intellectual abilities to comprehend these complex medical procedures and make wise decisions.
Find someone who is close
Finally, the person should be relatively close to you. If a medical emergency happens, they may be needed at the hospital very quickly. You need to know that they can make decisions for you on a schedule that really works for you and your medical team.
Once you find the person that you would like to choose, then you need to know what legal steps to take to set up your power of attorney.