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Why should I have a power of attorney for my health decisions?

The last thing any of us want to think about is our final days. Unfortunately, like taxes, death is inevitable. And none of us know when our time could be up. Barring any serious injury or sudden illness, our body slowly breaks down, limiting our abilities, both mental and physical. This could mean that our mental abilities break down, including the ability to communicate our wishes to family members or medical professionals

In many cases, we are able to express our wishes concerning our health and care, but what happens if we are unable to make such decisions ourselves? During these times, it would be beneficial to not only you, but your family and friends if you have designated a power of attorney to make advance directives regarding your medical care and decisions.

There may come a time when you are incapacitated and unable to express your wishes regarding your care. Having either a living will or a power of attorney for healthcare could be important in helping make such decisions on your behalf. Designating a power of attorney will also help prevent disagreements, arguments and possible even resentments between family members who may disagree on how they believe you want to be treated.

A power of attorney for healthcare will not only help enforce your healthcare wishes, but may have access to your medical records, retain visitation rights and provide any and all medical decisions that are not expressed in your healthcare declaration. Having someone designated early in your care planning can prove to be very valuable when planning for your future.

Source: FindLaw, "The Definition of Power of Attorney, Living Will and Advance Directives," Accessed June 26, 2017

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