Sometimes I am asked about the Health Care Power of Attorney .. .that is the document that names an “agent” who will be able to make medical decisions for you when you cannot. It is an important role. But, what do you put in the various spots?
Here is the blank form used in NC for standard choices for the health care agent under a power of attorney.
For section 1, you would simply fill in the name of the advocate you choose, and if you would like a second or third, add those. Please be sure to enter the contact information because if you need help, your doctors need to know how to reach the agent you are naming.
I advise NOT entering a physician in section 2. The language allows your attending to start the process of deciding when to call on the agent … you don’t want to wait until your primary care doctor returns from his annual 2-week trip to Yellowstone…
If your family knows your wishes in section 5, no additional entries are needed. But, you might have some religious or other limitations. For example, if you wish to refuse blood transfusions, you can enter it in part B. Also, you can (and should) tell doctors to turn off your pacemaker.
If you would like to specify organ donation chose one of the blocks to initial in item 6 (or leave them blank, it is not required).
Then have it witnessed and notarized. The notary has to see all the people sign it, so don’t sign it and then take it to a notary.
Witnesses CANNOT be related to you, or be caregivers, or heirs.
You can often have the document notarized at a bank, the hospital, or of course, you can come to our office.
Once completed, you keep a copy for each of the agent advocate, and then send /give the original to the doctor’s office or any doctors you use as specialists. Usually just your primary care doctor is sufficient.
Let us know if you’d like to come in to have it witnessed and notarized. Call at 919-883-2800.
Or if you have more questions, schedule a complimentary strategy session on aging and long-term planning.