What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (POA) allows you to appoint another person to make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. With a properly-drafted POA, you can accomplish the following goals: appoint someone else to make critical healthcare decisions if you are unable; ensure your bills (mortgage, utilities, etc.) are paid if you are in the hospital for an extended period; make sure your spouse and children are taken care of if you are unable.
Michigan Law has strict Power of Attorney Requirements
Michigan has strict requirements for a Durable Power of Attorney-Financial and a Durable Power of Attorney-Healthcare. If you are not sure if your POAs are valid in Michigan, you should contact an Estate Planning attorney for a review of your documents.
Your children are in college - have you set them up with a Durable Power of Attorney-Healthcare?
You pay your child's college tuition and room and board; you still claim your child as a dependent on your taxes. If your child is injured or becomes ill while away at college, you have legal authority to manage his/her care, right? WRONG. Once your child turns 18, you lose all legal rights to your child's healthcare and financial matters. Without a POA, a doctor or hospital has a legal obligation to protect your child's privacy - which means you as the parent have no right to access your child's medical information or to make decisions regarding medical treatment - UNLESS your child signed a POA granting you that authority.
Going on vacation without your kids? Have you signed a Medical Treatment Consent?
If you are going on vacation without your kids - or will be away from your kids for an extended period for any reason, you should consider signing a Medical Treatment Consent, granting your children's caretaker(s) during that time away authority to seek medical treatment for your child in case of illness or injury. These documents can be drafted with a beginning and end date and can also include specific instructions regarding medications, choice of doctor, etc.
To learn more about Powers of Attorney and Medical Consents, contact Toburen Law today.