Power of attorney directives are powerful planning tools

You have worked hard all of your life and made many choices that have led you to where you are today. However, because there are no guarantees in life, at some point, you may need to relinquish those decision-making abilities to someone else whom you trust. Power of attorney directives is a powerful planning tool that allows you to have a say in who controls your future when you are no longer able to do so. There are two primary power of attorney documents that you should consider creating with the help of a family law lawyer. They are the medical power of attorney and the durable power of attorney.

The medical power of attorney

A medical power of attorney is also known as an advanced health care directive. It has two major components.

The first component is a living will, which serves as a written outline of all your health care and treatment choices. The second component is the health care or medical power of attorney, which is used to appoint someone to formulate treatment and health care decisions for you if you are already incapacitated. The person appointed in a power of attorney is called the proxy or the health care agent. He/she will be your representation when your health condition prevents you from being able to make decisions regarding your own healthcare.

However, the proxy cannot just make any decision without spending time judging the situation. Proxies, in this case, are required to formulate decisions fairly regardless of any bias they may have. They are also required only to voice out the thoughts and feelings expressed by the patient. If you want to make sure that your living will and your medical power of attorney will work out effectively, then you should consider seeking professional legal advice. By doing so, you will obtain proper guidance on what needs to be put into documentation to make everything legal and binding. You should also discuss your preferences in advance with the person you select as your proxy if it is someone other than your attorney.

The durable power of attorney

The durable power of attorney refers to a document that has your signature and contains instructions related to assigning a party to act as your attorney in the event that you face physical incapacity or mental incompetence. You can also use this document in the preparation of an event, which may trigger your incapacitation. The contents of this legal document state that in case you are mentally or physically indisposed after encountering a serious illness or an accident, an assigned attorney or another appointed representative will step in to handle all your affairs on your behalf. For a durable power of attorney to be valid, a licensed doctor must certify that you are indeed physically and mentally incapacitated.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.

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