What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney or DPOA, is a legal document that gives another person the right to make important decisions on another person’s behalf. This only comes into play when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves. A Durable Power of Attorney is often used to document a person’s health care wishes. The person that is given the Durable Power of Attorney knows what the person wants and they make decisions for them based o what they believe the person would do if they were capable of making their own decision.

Durable Power of Attorney usually goes into effect when a doctor decides that the person in question can no longer make decisions on their own. It is the job of the Durable Power of Attorney to make sure the person’s health care wishes are carried out. They decide whether or not a person will have life support. They decide whether a person will have palliative care to be made more comfortable when they are at the end of their life. They decide if extraordinary measures will be taken to save a person’s life.

In a perfect world the person who has power of attorney over another person would agree on all aspects of their care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some health care choices will be difficult to make, but they should always be made keeping the patient’s wishes in mind. It is ideal that you have a conversation regarding end of life care before the person can no longer make decisions, so the DPOA knows what they want.

Ideally the person who needs the DPOA will have a living will too. The living will will state what the person wants regarding their end of life care. Then, all the DPOA has to do is enforce the person’s living will. Then, the DPOA doesn’t have to worry about conflict with loved ones.

If you want to create a Durable Power of Attorney you don’t need a lawyer. You can create the documents using special software. It is best that the DPOA be drafted when the person in question is still able to make their own decisions. Once the DPOA is drawn up you can have it notarized to make it legal.