Medical Power of Attorney
Our New Jersey estate planning attorneys will help you create needed medical power of attorney documents.
Although nobody wants to anticipate serious injury or incapacitation, these situations can arise quickly and without warning. That’s why it is important for you to take action now and start an estate plan while you are in a good position to do so. Make sure that medical care decisions that will affect you can be made in accordance with your wishes. Most states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have standard forms that can be tailored to allow you to express your specific wishes.
There are do-it-yourself templates online, but these are “one size fits all” documents. The experienced estate planning lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC know that every person, every family, and every healthcare proxy is unique. The decision to plan ahead is smart; don’t make the mistake of taking a cookie-cutter approach to planning your future. Contact Posternock Apell, PC today for compassionate, sound legal guidance about your estate planning documents.
Posternock Apell, PC can help you create a New Jersey or Pennsylvania medical power of attorney ("POA") document.
A medical power of attorney, also known as a proxy declaration in NJ, specifies your healthcare representative, or the person you want to make your health care decisions if and when you are unable to do so. They will become your health care representative and the person who ensures that the instructions set forth in your living will and healthcare proxy are carried out.
A medical power of attorney document is a very specific kind of power of attorney, focused only on medical care and decisions. You should select a close family member or friend, someone you trust and can talk with about your wishes. You may want to name an alternate or back-up agent, just in case your primary selection is unable to carry out their duties. Please note that if you want to grant someone the authority to handle your business decisions and other financial matters in the event that you become incapacitated or seriously ill, you should also set up a durable power of attorney with which an estate planning attorney can also assist you.
A medical power of attorney gives you peace of mind and prepares your family for the future.
If the time comes when you are incapacitated – injured from an accident, unable to communicate because of a stroke, undergoing emergency surgery from a trauma such as a heart attack – you won’t be able to express your wishes to medical personnel. For this reason, creating a durable power of attorney for healthcare (also called medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy) will allow you to dictate – in advance – how you want your medical decisions made.
Through this important document, you can assign responsibility for making your decision known to an “agent” who will speak to healthcare workers on your behalf. You need to choose someone you can trust, who will carry out your wishes – even though they may not be their own. For example, if you know you do not want any unnecessary healthcare measures taken if you are in a coma, your healthcare proxy will be able to make your feelings on this topic known. They can sign off on a “DNR” or “Do not resuscitate” order on your behalf. This is your opportunity to have a voice when you simply cannot physically be in control of your care.
There is no reason to be concerned about giving up control when you put a healthcare power of attorney in place. Your healthcare proxy will only be permitted to make decisions when you lack the “capacity” or ability to do so on your own. If you are able to understand the nature of your condition and, in some way, communicate your wishes to a doctor, your healthcare planning documents will not go into effect. Your agent with power of attorney will only be called upon to speak when you can’t.
Contact our New Jersey and Pennsylvania estates and trusts attorneys for help with your power of attorney documents.
Estate planning documents are based on personal decisions. At Posternock Apell, PC, we respect your choices unconditionally. We will explain your options and help you draft medical powers of attorney and other important planning documents that enable you to make choices about your future medical treatment. We invite you to meet with one of our estate planning attorneys on the phone or schedule a free phone consultation at one of our offices in Browns Mills or Moorestown, NJ, to learn more about these important documents and how we can help you prepare for the future.