Creating a Durable Power of Attorney - For Health Care - POA Form
A durable power of attorney gives the person of your choosing authority to act in your behalf if you became unable to speak or act for yourself. Most durable power of attorneys allows a person to handle your finances or business decisions if you become incapacitated physically or mentally.
Medical power of attorneys, or living wills, are important to any person. If you enter a hospital and cannot tell doctors about your wishes regarding important decisions like IV feeding tubes and life support, you need someone to ensure your wishes are met.
A perfect example would be if you were in a car accident and became brain dead. In 2008, a supposedly brain dead man’s foot moved after he was removed from life support. Today, Zack Dunlap is alive and doing well. All of this happened despite the doctor pronouncing Zack dead.
Would you want to be kept alive with machines and feeding tubes? Do you want doctors making the final decisions regarding your life? If you cannot speak for yourself, the person you select as your medical durable power of attorney speaks for you.
Legality of Durable Power of Attorney Agreements
Most durable power of attorney agreements must be made in writing and signed by both parties plus witnesses. This is done in front of a notary public who signs and seals the form.
While laws are shady on oral agreements, some states do honor them; it can be much harder to prove an oral contract truly existed. It’s always best to fill out the proper durable power of attorney form and have it signed and witnessed.
What to Include on Power of Attorney Forms
A durable power of attorney form starts with a paragraph stating your name, address and social security number and that you give the person you’ve chosen authority to act as your attorney in fact. You would list the other person’s full name and address. Follow this with a line stating they are authorized to act as your attorney in fact following set terms and conditions.
Include each term or condition in a separate numbered paragraph. Terms usually include:
· How they should handle your property.
· What happens if you recover?
· The amount of money they are authorized to borrow in your name.
· How to handle your tax and banking matters.
· Whether you allow them to use advice of third parties to handle matters.
· How much you are paying, if anything, the person listed in your durable power of attorney’s paperwork.
· A secondary choice for attorney in fact if anything happens to your first choice.
The durable power of attorney is then signed and dated by you. You also have the person you’ve chosen sign and date the form. Finally, two witnesses and notary public should sign and date the form.
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