for Attorneys and the general public, located in Washington DC and Maryland
Health Powers of Attorney
|Durable Power of Attorney|
If you have a durable power of attorney which appoints someone to
make health care decisions for you, do you still need a living will or
other advance directives? The answer is yes. Whether or not you have a
power of attorney does not affect the need or desire for a living will
or other advance directives. If you do not have a power of attorney, your
advance directives will be very helpful to instruct your physician and
the hospital as to the care you desire. If you do have a power of attorney,
your advance directives will give very important guidance to your attorney-in-fact
as to how he or she should act. In fact, you may want to combine your power
of attorney, your living will and your other advance directives into one
document. The Law Offices of George Teitelbaum, licensed
both in DC and MD, can assist with the preparation or review of these documents. To go to his main web site, which has lots of additional helpful information about elder law and related issues, CLICK HERE .
|Why Give Advance Directives?|
You accomplish at least two things by giving advance directives,
regardless of whether they direct all possible treatment, no treatment
or only some treatment. First, you ensure that the treatment you receive
is the treatment you desire, no more and no less. Second, you take the
burden off of your family and friends to make those decisions for you at
a time when they will most likely be emotionally upset by your critical
condition. Finally, you may be avoiding litigation to determine what treatment
you really desired or intended. In any event, it is time well spent.
|The Health Care Power of Attorney - Questions and Answers|
|Who can make a Health Care Power of Attorney?|
Any person who is competent under the law to sign a contract can
make a Health Care Power of Attorney.
|What does a Health Care Power of Attorney do?|
A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints one or more persons, known
as the Attorney-in-Fact, to make health care decisions for the Principal
during any period of incapacity.
|How long is a Health Care Power of Attorney valid?|
Only effective during the lifetime of the Principal. It is
in effect until revoked by the Principal or until the death of the Principal
|What happens if a person becomes
incapacitated without having made a
Health Care Power of Attorney?
A Guardian may be appointed by the Court to make health care decisions
for the period of incapacity. An Attorney-of-Fact can act immediately.
A Guardian cannot act until appointed by the court, a process that can
take 6 to 8 weeks, and cost thousands of dollars..
|Can a Health Power of Attorney be changed?|
YES! The Health Care Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time the person remains competant, and a new document can be prepared.