A medical or health care power of attorney is a type of advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. The trusted person you name may be a spouse, other family member, friend, or religious advisor.  The person you choose to make decisions may be called one of the following:

  • Health care agent
  • Health care representative
  • Health care attorney-in-fact
  • Patient advocate

Once you have completed your advance directive, you should make sure that your health care agent has copies. You also should discuss your plans with your doctor to ensure that they know what your wishes are.  Your healthcare providers can have "Healthcare Instructions" that can let them know what treatment you want or not want to have.  This may include the decision to be the decision to be on life support, have CPR administered, have feeding tubes, or be administered certain medications for pain relief. 


When Does a Advance Directive Take Effect?

An advance directive takes effect when your healthcare provider certifies in writing that you are no longer able to make decisions for your care yourself. 

Can You Change an Advance Directive?

Yes, you can change your advance directive at anytime.  The most recent copy of the advance directive will take effect if the need arises.

Why is it Important to Have an Attorney Assist in Drafting your Advance Directive?

While there are many forms that one can find to complete themselves, making sure that they are all-inclusive and comprehensive is important.  Planning ahead if a family crisis is a responsible thing to do.  Making sure that your wishes are administered properly gives you peace of mind.  Our attorneys will work with you to make sure that your planning documents incorporate all of your wishes.