Healthcare Power of Attorney Explained

Who should I choose to be my agent under a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

Clients executing a Healthcare Power of Attorney usually choose a close family member to act as their agent. However, any qualified person chosen by a principal can serve as the individual’s agent. Some clients feel more comfortable choosing a close friend as their guardian, and the law allows clients to make this decision. Clients can also nominate alternate agents to serve under the instrument, in case the first agent is not willing or unable to act.

An agent must act in the principal’s best interest when making decisions. It is extremely important that the principal nominates someone that they can trust and depend on to make the difficult decisions.

If I have a durable power of attorney, do I still need a living will?

A durable power of attorney does not eliminate the need for a living will or an advance directive. These instruments will provide your agent with guidance on the types of decisions you want them to make. It is possible to combine a power of attorney, living will, and other advance directives in one document to ensure that your wishes are clear and properly carried out.