FAQ: Medical Power of Attorney What’s the purpose of a medical power of attorney? A medical power of attorney appoints a health care agent and successor health care agents. Your agent will make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. How do I get a medical power of attorney? A medical power of attorney is part of an estate plan. It will be included among your legal documents in the estate planning process. How much does a medical power of attorney cost? Medical powers of attorney aren’t typically “sold” separately, but are part of a comprehensive estate plan. You can typically fill out a form at your specific doctor’s office indicating communication with named individuals is permissible, but you definitely need to make comprehensive estate planning a priority. What if I don’t have a medical power of attorney? If you don’t have appointed health care agents and are in dire straits, there will have to be an emergency guardianship proceeding in court to have an agent appointed. It is in your best interest and the best interests of your family to have a medical power of attorney. How does my medical power of attorney work with my living will? Your medical power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release, and organ donation form all work together to ensure that you are well cared for and that your wishes are honored. Your health care agent under your medical power of attorney will make decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. However, you’ve already made the end of life decision, removing a great burden from your health care agent’s shoulders. Your health care agent does not have the power to override your living will. The HIPAA release ensures that medical professionals will communicate with your health care agent without fear of breaking federal medical laws. The organ donation form lets everyone know that you wish to be an organ donor after your death. Consult with a qualified estate planning attorney if you have questions about the living will. Experienced estate planning attorneys Seattle WA of the Byrd Garrett PLLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Seattle WA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit www.byrdgarrett.com today.
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