Those who have children who are now adults are used to taking care of others, but these parents may now be wondering who will take care of them when they are no longer able to do so. Nobody can predict the future in Maryland or any other state. One never knows when a medical emergency will occur which could leave a person incapacitated. One option to address this is through a legal document known as a healthcare power of attorney.
This document, which should be considered by everybody no matter what age, allows one to choose a person or entity that will be given the power to make healthcare decisions for them in the case of incapacitation. Medical providers, such as nursing homes and hospitals have a duty to inquire about the existence of a healthcare power of attorney document before admitting patients. One can alter a healthcare power of attorney as long as one is competent and wakeful. However, one should always properly document in writing changes to a power of attorney.
On the other hand, one should be careful when creating the power of attorney document. One should make sure to choose a person he or she fully trusts to make important decisions which could make the difference between life and death in some instances. Also, one should discuss this decision with the person chosen.
However, when actually drafting a healthcare power of attorney document one must be sure to have full understanding of all the applicable laws in Maryland. This could make the difference between having a legally enforceable power of attorney and having one which could easily be overridden. Therefore, the language on the legal document must be carefully crafted.
Source: Cedar Falls Times, “FINANCIAL: Everyone should have a health care power of attorney,” Jon Ford, July 1, 2013