What is a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA)
Making a health care power of attorney means designating someone as your spokesperson for your health care decisions; if you are not in a position to make communicative decisions about aspects of your health care.
Without proactively putting in place a California Health Care Power of Attorney, your loved ones may need to petition the probate court for permission to make decisions on your behalf.
Another name for Health Care Power of Attorney is Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD)
People often confuse the HCPOA with a living will. Generally speaking, a living will is only valid for conditions like a terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness or other end-stage situations.
You should also beware that a financial power of attorney will not allow your agent to make health care decisions.
On the other hand, health care power of attorney covers situations where you are in need of someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Here are some things you need to know about California’s health care power of attorney:
- You need to fill out the California Power of Attorney for Health Care form. It must be signed by you and two witnesses or a California Notary.
- A Springing California health care power of attorney is only valid when your primary physician decides that you are unable to make a knowledgeable decision about your medical care. This is commonly referred to as a declaration of incapacity.
- By appointing a health care power of attorney agent you are authorizing him/her to make decisions on the treatments, procedures, and medications performed on you; choosing your health care providers; Whether to take any tests on you; Whether to use a life-support system; Whether resuscitation is required in the event your heart gives out or your breathing stops; What to do with your bodily remains after you have expired.
- You can also include specific instructions to your agent in the document, in the event you have particular demands about your health care.
The Health Care Power of Attorney is one piece of our comprehensive estate plan. If you want to make a HCPOA, contact one of our estate planning attorneys immediately.
An experienced attorney will help you finish this process and ensure that the agent you choose will be able to take action on your behalf and avoid probate.