Healthcare Planning and Review

 Health Care Planning and Review

Health care is a hot topic throughout the country right now. With health care costs constantly increasing, and considering the many recent advances in medicine, you should consider reviewing your living will and/or medical power of attorney at least every two years. If you are a Pennsylvania resident, did you sign a living will or medical power of attorney prior to 2007? If so, a change in the law occurred that makes it more important that you review your documents as soon as possible even if there have been no changes to your health or marital status. Some things to consider:

Living Will or Health Care Directive

  • Has your marital status changed?
  • Is your appointed representative still available, willing, and able to perform the appointed duties? Does your representative or agent know what you want if you are confronted with a life threatening situation?
  • Do you have an alternate agent? Is your alternate still available, capable, and willing to make your medical decisions in the event that your primary agent cannot?
  • Has your health deteriorated since the directive was written?

Medical power of attorney

  • Has your marital status changed?
  • A medical power of attorney goes into effect immediately after it is executed and delivered to your agent, but your agent only makes decisions if you are not capable of communicating your wishes.
  • How much power did you give your agent? Did you want to grant your agent the power to override your health care directive?
  • Do you have an alternate agent? Is your alternate still available, capable, and willing to make your medical decisions in the event that your primary agent cannot?

If you do not have a health care directive or a medical power of attorney, now is the time to have them prepared.