How To Activate Power of Attorney For Healthcare

The power of attorney for health care or health care proxy is something that you should consider having. It’s an advance directive that grants someone legal authority to decide what to do with the grantor’s health condition. [1] This only happens if the grantor is in a state where they can’t make a decision for themselves. We don’t know what the future will bring. It’s good to be as safe as possible when it comes to our health. You should consider discussing the issue with an attorney today if you haven’t got one yet. We will discuss the procedures you should take if ever assigned a power of attorney for health care.


The power health care doesn’t apply to the grantor (principal) until they are unable to make a health care decision. The recipient of the rights (attorney-in-fact) can only make a decision once the principal becomes incapacitated. It’s activated only under a specific condition. This process is typically known as springing power of attorney.


In order for the attorney-in-fact to start making a decision, their legal documents and POA must be valid. This means that it has to be according to the state’s law. Also, all the documents must be correct, complete, and present. For example, a POA that is witnessed by two people but not notarized may be valid in one state. However, it can be invalid in a state that requires notarization.


There are two types of powers of attorney: the durable and non-durable types. The non-durable type will be terminated as soon as the principal becomes incapacitated, rendering them useless.  You need to make sure that your legal documents and POA will allow power of attorney to be durable according to the state laws. As a principal, you must discuss this with a government office that’s responsible for this. Also, you should draft the contract to allow the attorney-in-fact to make a decision if you become ill.


A principal can terminate a POA at any time as long as they are still in the condition to do so. This means that adjustments, rewriting or a complete revocation can be done at any time. This may happen for any reason as long as the principal is conscious and mentally stable. Even an oral revocation is valid. Meaning the principal can simply inform her physician that she no longer wants to have the healthcare POA. After that, the documents will no longer be legally valid.


1. "Health Care Proxy/Living Will | Stony Brook Medicine". Retrieved 2018-10-29.

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