What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?
How Do I Choose the Right Medical Power of Attorney for Me?
Choosing the right Medical POA for you is a very personal decision. You will need to give it the careful consideration it deserves if you decide to put it in your Last Will and Testament in the state of Texas. For some people, it is an obvious choice, such as a spouse of many years, but there are a variety of factors to ponder upon, including:
- It is essential to choose someone you trust entirely, including trusting them to carry out your wishes regarding your medical care.
- It is vital to choose someone who understands your thinking and knows your wishes regarding the medical care you receive (if you have strong opinions about what you do or do not want in terms of medical procedures and treatments –perhaps related to your religious beliefs –it is critical that your agent understands your reasoning and is willing to stay the course).
- It is crucial to choose someone who knows your values and your religious and moral beliefs and is capable of and comfortable with making medical decisions on your behalf that align with these beliefs and values.
Finding the right person to become the agent of your medical POA can be a challenge –especially because a loved one, such as your spouse, may not be comfortable making decisions that do not comport with their desire to keep you alive at all costs (regardless of whether or not this decision aligns with your wishes). This can be a lot to ask of a loved one and needs to be given the careful consideration it requires.
Who Cannot Be Your Power of Attorney?
Any competent adult can serve in the role as an agent for a medical power of attorney –with a few specific exceptions (that are in place for your protection), including:
- Your doctor or healthcare provider
- An employee of your doctor or healthcare provider (unless the person is a relative of yours)
- Your residential healthcare providers, such as at your nursing home or assisted living facility
- An employee of your residential healthcare provider (unless the employee is s relative of yours)
When Does a Medical Power Attorney Go into Effect?
Many people are nervous about naming a medical POA because they have concerns that the decision-making power attached could be implemented in a less-than-careful manner –as if you are handing over the reins to your health care somewhat arbitrarily.
To step in and begin making healthcare decisions on your behalf, your agent will need to have your doctor’s opinion (in writing) that you are not able to make these decisions for yourself, and this decision-making power only remains in effect throughout your incapacitation. Your doctor has the power to revoke the Medical POA at any time (based on your evolving condition). In other words, the process is carefully monitored and is set up to help ensure that your wishes regarding your health are carried out (in the event you are incapable of ensuring this).
How to Get a Medical Power of Attorney in Texas
The basic steps for obtaining a medical POA in Texas are pretty straightforward, including:
- Decide that a medical POA is the right choice for you
- Download, fill out, complete, and print out the Medical Power of Attorney Designation of Health Care Agent form
- Gather two witnesses (one of whom cannot be your agent, a relative of yours, your doctor, or a beneficiary of yours) and have the medical POA form notarized.
It is important to note that it is always in your best interest to involve a dedicated estate planning attorney in the process. Your medical power of attorney is a profound legal document, and understanding the implications it can have for you and your family if you are unable to make medical decisions on your own is too significant to leave to chance.
An Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney Can Help With Your Medical Power of Attorney in Texas
Taking care of your estate planning needs is an essential component of protecting your family and cementing your legacy. A critical piece in the puzzle is establishing your medical power of attorney. If you are ready to address the issue of how to get a medical power of attorney in Texas, consider reaching out to the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC. We help clients like you achieve the peace of mind that comes from successfully addressing their medical power of attorney needs. We are here for you, too, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.