Power of Attorney and Related Documents
Should you be unable to make medical decisions yourself, having documents in place is critical. Otherwise a court will be needed to name agents to act under various powers of attorney. In both our living trust packages and last will and testament packages we include:
- HIPAA Releases
- Financial Power(s) of Attorney
- Medical Power(s) of Attorney
- Mental Health Power(s) of Attorney
- Living Wills
These documents allow your Powers of Attorney to receive medical information from your physician. Without these documents, Powers of Attorney often run into roadblocks.
Financial Powers of Attorney
Assets titled in the name of an incapacitated person are managed by the agent named in a Financial Power of Attorney. Assets in a living trust are managed by the Successor Trustee during an incapacitation.
Duties typically include paying both physician and monthly bills. For prolonged incapacitations, completed tax returns may be required.
Health Powers of Attorney
This document legally appoints agents to make medical, surgical or hospital decisions for you if you are not able to make or communicate such decisions for yourself. It is patterned after the standard hospital admitting form power of attorney, and will be necessary to anyone needing to have you admitted to a hospital.
Durable Mental Health Powers of Attorney
This document legally appoints the agent(s) you have chosen to make future mental health care decisions for you if you become incapable of making those decisions for yourself, including admittance to a structured treatment setting with 24 hour-a-day supervision and an intensive treatment program licensed by the Department of Health Services, which is called a "level one" behavioral health facility.
This document specifically requests that if a person is in a coma or other persistent vegetative state with little or no chance of regaining consciousness, or with irreversible brain damage and unable to recognize people or speak, or with irreversible brain damage with a terminal illness, as certified by two (2) physicians as in the preceding paragraph, that no life-sustaining procedures or aggressive medical therapy be undertaken, including (but not limited to):
the implantation of a cardiac pacemaker
the use of respirators or ventilators
nasogastric tube use
endotracheal tube use
invasive diagnostic tests
These documents typically authorize the administration of pain medications even if they dull consciousness and indirectly shorten life.