A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a documented record that gives someone else the authority to make decisions about your personal care if you are incapable of doing so yourself.
Health care, medical treatment, eating, housing, clothes, hygiene, and safety are all examples of personal care. Although the person you delegate this authority to is known as your “attorney,” this does not imply that they are a lawyer. Your attorney is usually your spouse, a relative, or a close friend.
Purpose of a Power of Attorney for Personal Care
The principal objective of a Personal Power of Attorney is to offer you control and peace of mind. It permits you to choose someone you trust to make choices for you, and it assures that your health is in the hands of someone you choose rather than someone nominated by the court.
Unless otherwise stated in your Power of Attorney:
- An Attorney of Personal Care is permitted to make medical or long-term care decisions on your behalf only if a medical professional or an evaluator deems you mentally incapable of making a specific decision.
- The attorney can intervene in all other types of personal care choices if they feel you cannot act on your behalf — no assessment is necessary.
Most people have their partner or spouse as their attorney. A person is your ‘spouse’ if any of the following are true (regarding Power of Attorney for Personal Care):
- You’re married to them
- You’ve been living together as a common-law couple for at least a year
- You’ve signed a documented cohabitation agreement with them, or
- You have a kid together
A person is your ‘partner’ if you have lived together for at least a year and have a close intimate relationship of primary significance.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care also allows you to choose the type of care you want. It is sometimes similar to a Living Will.
How is Power of Attorney for Personal Care different from a Living Will?
A Living Will is a legal document that specifies whether you want to be kept alive by medical devices if you have a slim chance of recovering. It will also underline how you want to be taken care of under challenging situations. In it, a person will typically state what kind of therapy they are willing to endure and when they would like medical procedures to stop. A living will is generally part of a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.
Who can be appointed as your attorney?
The attorney you choose must:
- Be 16 years or older
- Be mentally competent, and
- Not be receiving payment for health care, residential, social, training, or support services to take care of you. If a person is being paid to provide you with any of these services, they can only be your attorney if they are your spouse, common-law spouse, same-sex partner, or relative.
Above all, choose someone you know well and who you can trust to carry out your instructions and respect your intentions. Before you decide, ask the individual whether they are willing to serve as your attorney and discuss your objectives and obligations.
You can assign more than one attorney to make joint decisions. To cover all your basis, you can also name an alternate attorney if the primary cannot act due to unforeseeable changes.
If you have any questions about A Power of Attorney for Personal Care, contact the Mikhailitchenko Law Office and experience our unparalleled services.