Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Health Care Powers of Attorney - Why You Need One

A recent case brought close to home the importance of having a power of attorney. An adult has a stroke and the wife cannot pay the bills because all of his income is in a bank account in his name only. Having had a stroke, I had to file for guardianship. I charge $150.00 for a power of attorney with a health care provision and a living will, but a guardianship starts at about eight times that much. So much money and stress could have been avoided if the husband had had the proper documents!

Why did he not have the proper documents? Because he never thought that he would need them. A power of attorney appoints a person to act for you as if they were you to take care of your business. A healthcare power of attorney appoints a person to act for you in taking care of your health issues. A living will tells a healthcare provider (your doctor and/or hospital) that you do or do not want to receive life support.

I have a Top Three Reasons of Why You Do Not Need a Power of Attorney. I can tell you that if you answer "NO" to any two of the following, you need a power of attorney and a living will:

3. You have a power of attorney and living will.
2. You will never be incapable of making decisions about your business or health care.
1. You want to receive medical treatment if you are incapacitated regardless of the costs.