The appointment of an individual to be the holder of a power of attorney for healthcare is an important part of the planning process for many in Texas. One estate planning authority notes that if a healthcare power of attorney does not exist, the decisions as to the amount of life sustaining medical care offered to a person may be made by law rather than following an individual’s specific wishes. This has led many in our state to add a power of attorney document to their estate planning.
A power of attorney for healthcare grants an individual the responsibility of expressing a person’s wishes for medical treatment when they are unable to do so. These wishes can include deciding if CPR should be used, if life-sustaining care is offered and if a person wishes to be an organ donor. Without a healthcare power of attorney document, the hospital must make decisions without considering the wishes of the person seeking care.
When a person in Texas decides to appoint a power of attorney for healthcare, they may consider discussing the decision with the person being appointed. This can help avoid surprises for an individual when medical decisions must be made. In addition, the discussion will assist the power of attorney holder in their efforts to express the desires of the patient to hospital authorities when it becomes necessary.
Estate planning is an import task for many people. Whether they begin the process because of their desire to ensure that their assets are divided as they wish or to appoint a power of attorney, the result can benefit all involved, including the person who is engaged in planning and their potential heirs. By appointing a power of attorney for healthcare, the decision as to how they wish to be treated at end of life in medical situations can also offer a peace of mind for all involved.
Source: surgery.about.com, “Having Surgery? Do You Have a Healthcare Power of Attorney?” Jennifer Heisler, Jan. 21, 2013