Do you need a health care power of attorney?

Do you really need a health care power of attorney? According to Las Vegas attorney, Rebeccah Murray, "Anybody over the age of 18 needs a health care power of attorney." This important document will allow family or friends to talk with your doctors if you are not able to.

I heard a story of some parents who received a call at 2 am. Their daughter, who lived several hours away at college, was injured and the hospital needed to review insurance information. When the parents asked about the daughter's condition, no information could be given because the daughter was over 18 and no health care power of attorney existed. Imagine driving for several hours to the hospital without knowing what was going on. This would be a nightmare!

This document is very simple and you can find one on the internet or at a legal forms store. Most require a notary to witness the signature. Many attorneys will include one as part of a living trust.

Who do you name as your power of attorney? It could be your parents, a sibling, or a close friend. Anybody that you trust with your health information. You can also name multiple people. For example, I named my wife as my health care power of attorney. If my wife isn't able to perform the duties, I named my sister. My wife and I will be listed on my soon-to-be-18 year old son's health care power of attorney.

You also need to make sure that these people have access to the document should it be necessary. Storing it in the cloud in a site like Dropbox can make it simple to retrieve at a moments notice. This way my sister, who lives in Boston, can talk with my doctor here in Las Vegas.

The health care power of attorney is a simple document that everybody over 18 should have. Do your friends and family a favor and get it done.

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