Medical Power Of Attorney And Patient Advocate

It is never too early to plan for the unexpected. A medical power of attorney allows a loved one to assist you with your health care decisions if you are unable to make them yourself. Incapacity can arise from a number of different causes. Sudden illness, injury, an accident, and advanced age can all lead to incapacity. Creating a medical power of attorney now ensures you are protected and prepared for the future.

What Is A Medical Power Of Attorney?

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A medical power of attorney is a type of advanced directive. In Michigan, it is called a health care surrogate. A medical power of attorney or health care surrogate is a legal document used by you to designate another person to make decisions regarding your health care, including your funeral and other arrangements. Your medical power of attorney works hand-in-hand with your other advanced directives.

What Is A Patient Advocate?

A patient advocate is the name given to a health care power of attorney in Michigan. Other names include health care power of attorney, health care proxie, and durable power of attorney for health care.

Do I Need A Patient Advocate?

Your patient advocate plays a vital role in your estate plan. Life is unpredictable and you do not know if you will ever be put into a position where you will not be able to make these decisions. Without a medical power of attorney in place, the important decisions necessary for your health and well-being or that of your family can be left to the courts. Our estate planning attorney can show you how to create a patient advocate tailored to your specific needs.

Requirements For A Patient Advocate

In Michigan, state law allows anyone who is 18 years of age or older and of sound mind to make a patient advocate designation. The patient advocate must be in writing, signed, and executed in the presence of and signed by 2 witnesses. Michigan law severely restricts who can serve as witnesses on the patient advocate.

ADVANCED DIRECTIVES

What Are Advanced Directives?

Advanced directives are a set of documents executed by you to allow a loved one to make medical decision for you if you are unable to do so yourself.  The term “advanced directives” generally includes a living will, a medical power of attorney or patient advocate, do-not-resuscitate order and elections regarding organ donation. When creating your advanced directives, you should also include a HIPAA authorization that gives your health care surrogate the right to access you medical records. Lastly, you should also consider executing a durable power of attorney. This is another crucial document.

Patient Advocate vs Living Will

A patient advocate designation and living will are both advanced directives. Your living will expresses to your family and doctors your desires regarding end of life care. Your patient advocate or medical power of attorney, on the other hand, authorizes someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. There is some interplay between the documents as your health care surrogate is charged with implementing the decision you make in your living will.

Patient Advocate Form Michigan

You can find a patient advocate form or medical power of attorney form online, or for purchase at your local office supply store. Be extremely cautious when using these forms as they are typically not state specific. Therefore, they may not be ideal for Michigan residents. Moreover, they often to not take into religious considerations. If you would like a free patient advocate form, consider using the advanced directive forms provided by the State of Michigan found here. Please also consider executing a HIPAA release authorizing your patient advocate to access your medical records. A HIPAA release is not included with the State of Michigan Forms.

Medical Power of Attorney

Would you like to learn more about medical powers of attorney and patient advocates? At Atlas Law, PLC, we can help you set up you medical power of attorney today! Our Michigan office serves all of Michigan, Novi, Northville, Plymouth, Canton, Salem Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and more. If you have a question about medical powers of attorney and patient advocates or need assistance with your estate plan call us now.

We offer free consultations. Call today (248) 773-5555