Durable Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

This document allows you to appoint an agent to make your medical decisions for you if you are incapable of making them for yourself. You can give your agent instructions as to what type of medical care you want or do not want, including the authority to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures, if you so desire. A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney may be accompanied by a “Living Will” which gives instructions to health care providers regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures. Without a properly drafted and signed Durable Health Care Power of Attorney or Living Will, your spouse and/or children may not be able to control your medical care consistent with your wishes. Language incorporating the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-191, 45 C.F.R. Sec. 160.500 et seq. ("HIPAA") must be included in every health care power.

There are many nuances (medical, person, legal and religious) to these medical directives which should be addressed before they are utilized in any situation.

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