With a medical power of attorney, you take more control over your medical decisions. You do this by choosing an agent to make those decisions for you.
This may sound like less control, but the thing to keep in mind is that they only take over if you’re incapacitated and you can’t do this on your own. Think of it as a backup plan, a way to have someone else who can make decisions with your best interest in mind. What are some other reasons to have a medical power of attorney?
It offers greater flexibility
People will sometimes simply leave a list of instructions for the doctor. This is a type of advanced directive. And this isn’t a bad idea, but it isn’t that flexible. It only addresses very specific things. With a medical power of attorney, since you’re choosing a person, they can work with your medical team to decide on the best course of action.
You never know when it will be needed
People sometimes don’t think that this is necessary because they assume they can make all their own decisions or that they’re not at a place in their life where they could become incapacitated. For instance, they may think this is beneficial for an elderly person who could have a stroke, but not for a new parent.
But the truth is that you can never predict these types of things. People are incapacitated in car accidents and other ways every day. It’s better to have the medical power of attorney in place and not need it than to find yourself and your family in a difficult position without the paperwork already on file.
Creating your estate plan takes a careful approach
A medical power of attorney is just one document that you can use to make your estate plan more complex and more useful. Be sure you take the time to carefully consider all of your options