What is a Durable Power of Attorney And Do I Need It?

Question: What is a durable power of attorney?

Answer: A durable power of attorney in the health care setting has many names. It is sometimes called a proxy directive, a health care power of attorney, and it is probably the most important document that every adult should consider taking care of first -- whether you are healthy, whether you are ill.

And it appoints someone who is given the legal authority to make decisions for you, if you cannot make them for yourself.

And these can be decisions about any facet of your medical care; it does not apply just when you are at the very end stage, it can be even when you are temporarily incapacitated. And that is the most important document that people should think of first.


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