The attorneys of Appel & Yost LLP have a great deal of experience preparing Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, and Living Wills. While most people avoid thinking about these issues, the reality is that nobody knows how, when, or if they will become incapacitated. It is therefore critical that each individual has these important documents prepared as soon as possible.
A Power of Attorney is a document which authorizes another to make legal, financial, and/or business decisions on another's behalf. Powers of attorney can be broad, allowing the agent to make almost any decision on the principal's behalf, or limited to only one or two specific functions or matters. We typically recommend a durable power of attorney, which allows the agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal until the principal's death, regardless of whether the principal is incapacitated. Of course, the principal may revoke the power of attorney at any time, assuming the individual is not incapacitated.
Healthcare Directives provide an opportunity to reduce to writing your decisions regarding the initiation, continuation, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment such as feeding tubes, respirators, and hydration. Having a living will in place ensures that your loved ones will not agonize over these decisions because you have already made your wishes clear.
A Healthcare Directive can be established to appoint an individual to carry out these wishes and/or make any other medical decisions for you in the event of your incapacity. The healthcare directive should be a person you trust who is capable of making a medical decision on your behalf. This person also has the right to choose your medical providers and decide when it is or is not appropriate to place you under medical care. The attorneys of Appel & Yost LLP are happy to speak with you about the various options you have with regard to powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and living wells.