Health-care Power of Attorney

A health-care power of attorney lets you designate a person (called a health-care agent) to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make the decisions yourself. You can provide instructions to your agent and give him or her as much flexibility in following them as you wish. You should also name a successor agent in case your first choice is unavailable. (More on how to select a health-care agent.)

Your agent should follow any wishes you have put in your living will. Your agent can also make decisions on your behalf for situations that your living will hasn’t anticipated. That’s why it is so important to select someone¬†you trust and who understands you.

Without naming a health-care agent, things could get messy.

Without naming a health-care agent, your health-care provider may look to a surrogate for guidance. The identity of the surrogate is decided by Maryland law which ranks family members in an order decided by the Maryland legislature. If there are more than one surrogate who qualifies, and they disagree, things could get messy. A physician might have to consult an ethics committee which could cause a delay in treatment. Naming a health-care agent is the best way to ensure that someone you trust is making the decisions on what is best for you.

Previous: Living Wills — Next: Powers of Attorney¬†

Back to Estate Planning Basics

Montefusco Estate Planning, LLC
8133 Runnymeade Dr Frederick, Maryland 21702
Phone: 240-415-8323 URL of Map