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Is a health care power of attorney necessary for your estate plan?

Planning for the future is never easy, especially when it involves making difficult decisions about things that relate to your health care. The future may be unpredictable, but there are ways you can protect your interests and keep your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf. One of the ways you can do this is by adding certain tools to your estate plan.

Many in West Virginia may assume that, since they have a will and have expressed their wishes to their loved ones, there is no need for additional estate planning. In reality, verbal agreements are rarely helpful, and it is necessary to have your plans in writing. A few simple steps, such as adding a health care power of attorney, can give you peace of mind for the future.

What does a health care power of attorney do? 

A health care power of attorney allows you to have a measure of control over your health care in case you are ever in a position in which you are not able to speak for yourself. You may need to understand the following about this type of legal document:

  • You can name a person to act on your behalf and make important medical decisions for you in case you cannot express your wishes.
  • Your health care agent would only make decisions for you on matters not specifically mentioned in your living will.
  • The health care agent cannot override the terms of your living will or do anything contrary to what you specifically included.

Often, people find that health care power of attorneys work best in conjunction with a living will. The person you name as your health care agent will have a tremendous responsibility, and it is important to discuss these issues with your loved ones, and even your doctor, as you consider this part of your estate plan.

Plan specific to your needs

Drafting documents to add to your estate plan, or developing a plan suited to your needs, is never easy. It can be both complex and overwhelming to consider all of your options and wishes, and then ensure that the proper parties appropriately address them in your plan.

Most people find it extremely useful to seek guidance as they work for a plan that suits their needs. Whether you need a basic will or wish to include health care provisions through a power of attorney or living will, there is no time to lose in seeking the guidance you need.

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