Medical Power of Attorney

Your Medical Power of Attorney empowers your Agent
or Attorney-In-Fact to make health-care or personal care decisions on your behalf.

The free legal form supplied here is a conventional durable medical power of attorney. However, it can be written to expire on a certain date. For example: you may be going on an adventure with a fellow traveler and want that person to act as your Agent for the duration of the trip, should it become necessary.

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Medical Power of Attorney - Legal Terms and Requirements

NOTE: It may also be called a Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney for Personal Matters / Care.

Whatever the document or Agent is called in your state or country, the following requirements for your medical or health care power of attorney are universal:

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  • Your appointed Agent must be of legal age and can be a family member or trusted friend.

    Your Agent must not be a doctor, because for them making a choice between acting as your Agent or as a physician can create conflict.
  • Your Agent must not be anybody associated with your health care providers such as a hospital, nursing home, therapist, social worker etc. or anyone being paid by you for services such as your landlord.
  • You must include a statement that you revoke any previous medical POA should it exist.
  • Witnesses must be of legal age and not related to the Agent or person making the power of attorney.
  • You can revoke the medical POA at any time - always advisable to do so in writing.
  • You can appoint more than one Agent - be sure to specify whether they must always make decisions jointly, or if they can make decisions jointly and severally. Consider the practicality and possibility of conflict before you decide.
  • It is always a good idea to appoint an alternative or substitute agent should your first choice be unable or unwilling to serve.
  • You are always in charge of your health care decisions until such time that you become incapacitated.

The authority granted to your Agent to make Personal Care decisions for you relates to issues such as where you will live or which foods you do not wish to eat. You can be as specific as you wish in your instructions e.g. you wish to live in your own home for as long as possible etc.

You can give detailed instructions on the free medical power of attorney form as to which treatment you do or do not want or you can complete the separate free living will form and make reference to it in your power of attorney as an attachment.

For links to other sample POA documents as well as additional legal information, please visit our Main Power of Attorney Page.

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