A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document naming an individual or group responsible for your health care decisions. The document is strongly recommended in addition to your Living Will (advanced directive) to ensure that your wishes concerning future health care are reflected.
Eagle Law Offices, P.S. advises that every person, 18 years and older, prepare both a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. The Power of Attorney will allow more flexibility than a Living Will regarding medical treatment decisions. This flexibility is crucial if there are unexpected changes in your condition. The Power of Attorney allows your agent (person with power) to base medical decisions on more than just your written wishes. It is essential that you choose an agent who fully understands your wishes.
Once you have completed the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, copies will be distributed to:
- Discuss your healthcare wishes honestly and openly with your appointed agent(s), physicians, attorney(s), clergy, family and friends.
- Discuss your wishes often, especially if your health condition changes.
- If your wishes should change, destroy the old documents and complete new ones. Codicils to Living Wills or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care may not be recognized.
- Have all documents notarized in case of travel. Although this is not necessary in Washington State, some states do require that the documents be notarized.
- If you decide to revoke one or both of your Washington State directives, be certain to inform all concerned parties (clergy, doctors, family, agents, attorney, etc.).
- Do not store your copies of health directives in a safety deposit box. They will serve no purpose there and access may be restricted.
Contact us today for more information and professional assistance in this matter.