If young and in good health, you like others may not see the need for a power of attorney for health care. However, should a serious and sudden illness or injury leave you incapacitated, you might not have the ability to speak and make choices for yourself.
To put the authority to make health care-related decisions on your behalf in the hands of a trusted family member, friend or acquaintance, you may consider drafting a health care power of attorney.
Making a health care power of attorney
According to Pennsylvania state law, to make a health care power of attorney, you must meet certain criteria. These include having reached at least 18 years old and graduated from high school, received emancipation as a minor or having married.
Validating a health care power of attorney
For your health care power of attorney to have validity, you must meet certain requirements when drafting and enacting it. In addition to your signature or marking, if you cannot sign, the creation of this document needs two witnesses.
Limitations for health care powers of attorney
Through your power of attorney for health care, you have the option to include limitations on your named representative. For example, this may include restricting the situations in which the chosen agent has the authority to make decisions about the principal’s medical treatment and care.
Regardless of your health, you may benefit from preparing for the inevitable and the unexpected. Therefore, you may consider working with an estate planning attorney to draft and file documents to ensure your voice gets heard, even when you cannot speak for yourself.