Protecting your health and well-being is a top priority, especially as we get older. One important way to safeguard yourself is by creating a health care power of attorney document. This legal document designates a trusted individual to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. But as important as creating this document is, it’s not enough to simply have it – you also need to make sure it’s in the right hands.
A recent story shared by a friend highlights just how critical it is to ensure your health care power of attorney is given to the appropriate parties. In this case, a woman was acting as the power of attorney for her mother, but didn’t have the document on hand when her mother needed medical attention. The hospital demanded the document immediately, and in the chaos of the moment, the daughter ended up agreeing to have her mother fill out a new one on the spot.
The problem arose when the nurse asked who should be listed as the power of attorney. The daughter suggested including herself and her mother’s husband, who had raised her and was like a father to her. But her mother insisted that only her daughter be listed, causing tension and awkwardness between the family members. It was a situation that could have been avoided if the daughter had simply provided the existing document to the hospital.
This story underscores the importance of not only creating a health care power of attorney, but also ensuring that it is given to the appropriate parties. At Bellomo & Associates, we urge our clients to not only create these documents, but to also provide copies to their doctors and keep them on file at hospitals. We provide extra copies so family members can have them as well. Taking these steps can help you avoid any unnecessary stress or heartache should an emergency situation arise.
Creating a health care power of attorney is a smart move, but it’s only half the battle. To ensure that your wishes are carried out properly, it’s crucial to share the document with your health care providers and loved ones. Don’t let a lack of preparation cause unnecessary tension or problems for your family – take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
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