As you create an estate plan, you’ll soon turn your attention to creating a will or trust. While you may consider this the most important part of your plan, as it dictates who will receive your assets upon your death, there are other legal documents to consider.
For example, a health care power of attorney is something to consider. With this legal document, you can grant another party, such as a family member or friend, the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so on your own.
Do you need to create a power of attorney?
There is no law stating that you have to create a health care power of attorney. Instead, you have the right to make up your own mind as to whether or not you take on this process.
However, you should remember this: If you don’t have a health care power of attorney, it’s possible that the wrong person could end up making medical decisions for you. Is this a risk you are willing to take?
Also, keep in mind that without a health care power of attorney, it could put additional stress on your family. For example, some people may want to make one medical decision while another has something else in mind.
The primary benefit of a health care power of attorney is the ability to give a trusted agent the power to make important medical decisions on your behalf. Furthermore, you can use this document to provide specific instructions on what should be done. In other words, you can still control your health care decisions even if you are unable to speak.
An attorney can help
Just as with a will or trust, you should never create a health care power of attorney on your own. This may sound like a good idea, until you realize that there are many legal implications.
If you want to avoid future trouble, consult with an attorney who can answer your questions and help you create the right type of health care power of attorney.
If you don’t yet have a health care power of attorney in place, this may be something you want to add to your estate plan in the near future. It could give you and your family peace of mind.