An estate plan is not complete without setting up a medical power of attorney. This refers to the process of designating and authorizing someone to make critical medical decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. A medical power of attorney also allows someone to choose your doctor, seek out treatment facilities, and help determine other healthcare solutions.
Having a medical power of attorney will undoubtedly benefit you, and our estate planning attorneys in San Diego want to provide you with six reasons why:
Reason #1 — Receiving Healthcare According To Your Wishes
Even when you can’t make medical decisions on your own anymore, you should still have a say in how you receive treatment. The medical power of attorney allows someone you trust to refuse or accept treatment options on your behalf. They will also hire or dismiss any medical professional they deem suitable/unsuitable to take care of you.
Reason #2 — Having Someone Represent Your Best Interests
Your healthcare agent should be the person you trust the most to carry out your medical directives. Make sure that you communicate with them early on about what you want to be done in case of a medical emergency. It’s common for a spouse, children, and other close family members to make medical decisions because they will always uphold your best interests and wishes. Having an advocate you trust to carry on your medical wishes is an invaluable part to any estate plan.
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Reason #3 — Overruling the Medical Establishment
Without a medical power of attorney in place, doctors and healthcare professionals may try to sway your family members in determining if life-support is necessary to continue. Your family should be making these decisions on your behalf and upholding your best interests, rather than the medical establishment having substantial influence in what happens.
Reason #4 — Medical Power of Attorney Takes Effect immediately
As soon as you sign the document (with a present witness), your medical power of attorney goes into effect immediately. But remember, as long as you are healthy and conscious, you get to continue making your own medical decisions. Depending on how your write it, your medical power of attorney can be ready to activate when you meet the criteria for incapacitation and endure through any period of incapacity, all while never limiting your own medical autonomy so long as you can make decisions.
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Reason #5 — Avoiding Family Disputes
Now you can eliminate any confusion if you were to become incapacitated. It will effectively prevent family members from arguing about handling your personal affairs and medical wishes. Ultimately, you should have a medical power of attorney in place to avoid any potential turmoil among your loved ones regarding your treatment options, and tell them (through this document) exactly what you would want done. Avoiding these disputes will make everyone more at peace with your condition, and lift a heavy burden from family members otherwise forced to decide with no guidance.
Reason #6 — An Experienced Attorney Can Accommodate All Your Needs
You need to take specific steps when creating a medical power of attorney. To simplify the entire process, you should consider hiring an estate planning attorney to draw up all the necessary documents. You can consult with them about your specific needs, which may require them to create additional healthcare provisions in your estate plan. Ultimately, getting it done right the first time will help prevent your family from having to go to Court while you’re alive and incapacitated later, and this peace of mind is priceless.
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Are you ready to begin preparing your family for the future? The legal experts here at Jenkins & Jenkins Estate Planning in San Diego can offer you assistance. We serve a wide range of clients who want to preserve their legacies and provide financial protection for their families down the road. Schedule an appointment today, and we can immediately begin working on your estate plan!
Testimonial from Patti, Satisfied Estate Planning Client
Michael and Caroline Jenkins were awesome in helping my husband and I with our Living Trust. We had been putting it off for years, and in a short few months they helped us get it done. During Covid we could do a zoom call with them and then met them in person at their Temecula office to finish it off. They are both very friendly and made us feel very comfortable even with all the questions we asked. Thank you for your great service and we fully recommend them and their office.