Can I obtain a durable power of attorney that includes healthcare?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 05, 2016
Glenna jean asked...

My mother wants to get a durable power of attorney which includes medical, is this possible?


Expert Answers

Yes, it's possible for her to set out medical care instructions in a power of attorney document, although your mother may need to execute two separate documents, an advance health care directive or living will, and a power of attorney for health care, depending on the rules in the state where she lives. If she also wants to create a power of attorney for someone to handle financial and other decisions for her, she should do so in a separate document.

An advance health care directive/living will or a power of attorney for health care can set out your mother's wishes regarding specific care she does and doesn't want, and can appoint someone to supervise that care or to make decisions for her if and when she's unable to do so. In some states, a person needs to prepare both types of document in order to both set out specific instructions and to appoint someone to make decisions. In other states, a single document -- an advance health care directive -- permits the person to accomplish both goals in a single document. For information about how to set up an advance health care directive or living will, see Advance Health Care Directives and Living Wills: A Step-by-Step Guide.