Recently I asked a question on Facebook to see who knew the difference between a health care power of attorney and a living will. To my surprise, 60% of the responses I received indicated that people do not know the difference between the two.
Having a health care power of attorney and a living will is an essential part of your estate plan, as it will direct your relatives to make the right health choices for you when you are unable to do so yourself.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney, often referred to as HCPOA, is a document naming and empowering agent(s) to make decisions regarding your health and medical needs when you are unable to do so yourself. Health emergencies can come up at any time whether it is due to an accident, a surgery complications or health problems such as stroke or heart attack. HCPOA will allow you to give your agent specific instructions on what your wishes are in certain circumstances, giving him or her guidance for making often very difficult and stressful decisions.
Living will is another health directive for agents and physicians. Similarly, to a health care power of attorney, it names agent(s) responsible for making decisions; however, in this instance they relate to end-of-life scenarios and communicating on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It will address issues related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, comfort care, and body parts donations.
We Can Help
At Sobon Law, LLC we work with families every day to help them plan for the unexpected. Call today (216) 586-4246 to schedule an appointment.