A medical power of attorney is an important document when you’re planning for your long-term care needs. You cannot always predict what you’re going to need or how your health is going to go, so the power of attorney gives someone else the ability to make these choices on your behalf. This can be helpful if you are in a coma, for instance, and you can’t talk to the medical team, or simply if you are suffering from some sort of degenerative brain disease. Essentially, you just need to know that someone is on your side, and you can pick them to be your representative through your power of attorney.
When you do this, though, make sure that you talk to the person you want to name as your POA first, and get their consent. Be very clear with them about what you would expect, and ask them if they’re willing to do it. You also want to discuss all of the potential medical decisions that you would like them to make so that they understand your wishes. This conversation is very important.
Why would someone not want to be your agent?
There are a lot of reasons why someone would not want to be the agent that you named in your medical power of attorney, but perhaps the biggest reason is that they may think these decisions would be too difficult. For instance, they may be asked if you should be kept on life support or not. This is a major decision and they may just feel that they are too emotional to make that choice. Family members are often picked when creating a power of attorney, but this can also create a scenario where they are unable to make the necessary decisions.
After you talk to the person and clear it so that you know they’re willing to be your agent, then look into the steps needed to set up the power of attorney officially.