Why Do I Need a Health Care Power of Attorney?

Many people in Colorado do not realize how important it is for them to establish health care power of attorney (POA) for the times they are unable to care for themselves. Accidents and illnesses can happen in the blink of an eye that could leave you unresponsive and unable to make critical decisions about your medical care. Even though you may want your family and loved ones to step up to make those decisions for you, without the right documentation in place, they may not be able to. 

It is important for you to establish a health care power of attorney so you do not have to rely on a court-appointed stranger and your medical doctors to manage your medical care without regards to you and your family’s wishes. 

The importance of having a health care POA 

A health care POA allows you to retain some control over your situation even though you are unable to speak for yourself. You can choose a person you trust to make the best decisions regarding your care that are in align with your beliefs and wishes to act as your health care proxy. 

Reasons to designate a health care power of attorney 

Having a health care POA can help you to avoid some common problems that many people encounter when they need medical care and cannot speak up for themselves, states Investopedia.

  • Your loved ones may disagree about the medical care you should receive, which can lead to delays and complications in your recovery.
  • Your medical providers may insist on administering certain treatments that your family members know you do not want. Their relationships to you and objections are not enough to prevent your doctors from moving forward with those treatments.
  • A health care POA can help to keep unqualified and unwanted loved ones from making decisions about your medical care that conflict with you and your family’s wishes and physician’s recommendations. 

Without a health care power of attorney in place, your loved ones may have to petition the courts for the legal authority to act as your health care representative. This can lead to disputes, extra expenses and delays. 

No matter how healthy you are now, there is always the chance that a serious illness or accident can happen that leaves you incapacitated. To improve the likelihood of you receiving the care you desire and deserve, you should include a health care power of attorney in your estate planning documents.