San Antonio Medical Power of Attorney Lawyer

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A medical power of attorney—or durable power of attorney—allows you to select someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. It is never too early to create a medical power of attorney, as an unexpected illness or injury can occur at any time.

A San Antonio medical power of attorney lawyer can help you establish a document that reflects your values and gives you peace of mind. A skilled legal professional experienced in a wide variety of estate planning needs could help you understand the legal requirements and implications involved in choosing a healthcare agent and setting up a power of attorney.

Requirements for a Medical Power of Attorney

The person who chooses a medical power of attorney is called the principal, and the individual they appoint is called the agent. You can give your agent as broad or very specific powers as you want to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot. However, the document has several requirements to be viewed as legally enforceable.

The principal must sign the medical power of attorney with two witnesses or in front of a notary. At least one of the witnesses who attests to the medical power of attorney must not have a relationship with the principal. For example, one of the two witnesses cannot be the principal’s doctor, the agent named as the medical power of attorney, someone of blood relation, or the beneficiary. A medical power of attorney may go into effect immediately but cannot be used until the principal’s attending physician determines they are incapacitated.

Typically, a medical power of attorney does not have an end date, but some principals may choose a specific termination date. The document may also be revoked at any time, and you can change your healthcare agent at a future date. In the absence of a legally executed medical power of attorney, state law decides who gets to make decisions about your healthcare if you become incapacitated. These individuals can include your spouse, adult children, and parents.

Still, you should never leave who gets to make decisions about your life to chance. A San Antonio lawyer could work with you to draw up a medical power of attorney that suits your needs and effectively communicates your wishes while remaining legally enforceable.

Key Benefits of a Medical Power of Attorney

There are numerous benefits to establishing a medical power of attorney. A seasoned San Antonio attorney could provide objective advice and ensure the process of creating your estate planning documents runs smoothly. It is important that your medical power of attorney complies with state laws while also avoiding any vagueness or ambiguity that could lead to family disputes down the line. Besides preserving your personal autonomy, a medical power of attorney can reduce stress for your loved ones in the future.

In addition to providing a legal roadmap for future care in the event of an incapacitating injury or illness, a medical power of attorney can be incredibly specific about the authority granted to your agent. For example, the document may permit your agent to refuse or consent to certain forms of medical treatment, to approve or deny diagnostic tests, and to choose or select healthcare providers.

You may grant your agent the power to make determinations about whether to approve or refuse life-prolonging treatment and decide where you live if long-term residential care is needed. An agent can also be empowered to carry out your wishes concerning end-of-life care and palliative care. A lawyer at Begum Peláez-Prada PLLC could ensure that your medical power of attorney is tailored to your circumstances and plans for any unexpected healthcare situations.

Consult With a San Antonio Lawyer About Selecting a Medical Power of Attorney

Sasha Begum and the legal team at Begum Peláez-Prada PLLC understand the importance of customized estate planning services to honor your healthcare preferences. A San Antonio medical power of attorney lawyer from our firm could help you draft a medical power of attorney that meets your particular healthcare needs and help you select alternate agents if your primary agent suffers an incapacitating injury or illness. Contact us today for your one-on-one legal consultation and discuss all your legal options.

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