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Powers of Attorney for Personal Care

Powers of Attorney for Personal Care


In my last blog, I wrote about Powers of Attorney for Property. 


What happens when you are incapable of taking care of your well-being or making medical decisions on your own behalf.  You should prepare a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POA/PC).


The person(s) you name in a POA/PC can make these decisions on your behalf.  However, unlike the Power of Attorney for Property, decisions can only be made if you are mentally incapable of making your own decisions.


You have likely heard of the term “Living Will” and which your lawyer will refer to as an “Advance Directive.”  This can be included in your POA/PC to give general or specific instructions as to what medical treatment you want or refuse to accept. 


For example, you can set out examples of under what circumstances you would not want CPR to be undertaken.  It is best that these decisions be made when you are healthy and not under the stress of being terminally ill.  You must remember that as you age and  your needs change and therefore your POA/PC may need to change as well.  An Advance Directive can also be included in a separate document such  as a “do not resuscitate” (DNR).


Your alternate decision maker (or makers) [attorneys(s)] should be someone that you can trust to make the decisions that you would make if you were still mentally capable.  Maybe someone who faints at the sight of blood is not the best choice.  Select someone who shares your religious views or world outlook.  Try to select someone who will be willing to do whatever is necessary to make and defend these difficult decisions.


It is very important that you discuss these matters and your wishes not only with your Attorney, but also with your family members.  Doing so will not make these difficult decisions easy to make, but knowing your wishes will provide a measure of comfort to your family and friends at a difficult and emotionally draining time.


The POA/PC automatically terminates upon your death or when specifically revoked (cancelled) in writing.


If you have any suggestions for future blogs concerning wills, powers of attorney, estates, real estate, business law, please send your suggestions to me at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

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