A medical power of attorney, also called a health care power of attorney, is a special estate planning document. Through it, a person grants their named agent with the power to make medical decisions for them if the creator of the medical power of attorney is not able to do so on their own. In cases in which an Ohio resident becomes incapacitated or unresponsive, their medical power of attorney can step in and provide medical personnel with answers to their treatment questions.

Deciding who to name as an agent can be difficult. It should be a person who the creator trusts and who they believe will follow their requests with regard to how their medical care should be directed. If, for example, a medical power of attorney creator does not wish to have their life prolonged through life support, they should be sure their agent understands that preference and will respect their decision.

Our readers should note that a health care power of attorney is different from a financial power of attorney. Whereas both estate planning documents vest certain powers in others, they grant agents different rights. Financial powers of attorney address agents’ rights to make money decisions for the individuals who have named them in their relevant estate planning documents.

A medical power of attorney is an important document that all Ohio residents will likely need in their estate plans. While it may seem that communicating one’s wishes for medical care to loved ones is enough to protect them, having a medical power of attorney in place can help guarantee that an individual has a trusted agent in charge of seeing through their health care needs.