Estate planning is a crucial process that often focuses on securing your financial future and the distribution of assets. However, when you are in an unmarried relationship and living with a partner, there’s an additional aspect to consider – your health care wishes.
While you may not be married, you can still take proactive steps to ensure that your partner can make medical decisions on your behalf if the need arises. Here’s what to consider when drafting your Medical Power of Attorney (Medical POA).
Designating your health care agent
In a Medical Power of Attorney, you designate a trusted individual as your health care agent. This person is granted the legal authority to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so. Since you’re unmarried, choosing your partner for this role is a crucial decision. Consider their ability to advocate for your preferences and communicate effectively with medical professionals.
Defining the scope of authority
Clearly define the scope of authority for your health care agent in the Medical POA. This includes specifying the medical decisions they can make on your behalf. Be comprehensive in outlining what they can decide, from routine treatments to critical life-saving measures.
In your Medical POA, express your medical preferences and end-of-life care instructions. Ensure your document reflects your values, such as your preferences for life-sustaining treatments or end-of-life decisions. Clarity is essential in guiding your agent and medical professionals.
Maintaining control over medical decisions
This proactive approach provides peace of mind and clarity, helping you maintain control over your medical decisions and secure the well-being of your loved ones.
But remember how essential it is to review and update your Medical POA. This can be especially important in unmarried relationships, as the legal landscape may change. Ensure your document reflects your wishes and designates the most appropriate caretaker.
Consider consulting with an attorney to ensure your Medical POA is legally sound. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements and regulations in your state. They can help you draft a robust document that protects your health care wishes, even if you are not married to your partner.