Create and download a free customized Medical Power of Attorney form for your individual medical affairs and necessities today.
Last Update July 22nd, 2022
- What Is a Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA)
- Medical POA vs Living Will
- How to Get a Medical Power of Attorney
- How to Write a Medical Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney Sample
- MPOA Statutory Forms and Signing Requirements
- FAQs About Medical Power of Attorney
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What Is a Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA)
A Medical Power of Attorney (POA) is a form of Durable POA that allows you to appoint an individual (often known as your Agent or Attorney-in-Fact) to make important health care decisions for you if you cannot.
This type of document is also known as a:
Power of Attorney for Health Care
Advance Healthcare Directive
Medical Power of Attorney Directive
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Medical POA (MPOA)
This differs greatly from a General Power of Attorney, which is more commonly used by the public and can only appoint an Agent to manage your financial decision-making. Instead, this type of medical-legal document can be put in place to provide for your healthcare necessities in the event of incapacitation.
Medical POA vs Living Will
A Medical Power of Attorney may seem similar to a Living Will to some. However, there are some significant differences between the two legal documents. In fact, both can be used to complement each other.
Both these forms are known as Advanced Directive documents and allow you to carefully plan for advanced age, future illness, or treatment following a major injury.
Living Wills, on one hand, explicitly details your medical treatment preferences. They might be used to approve emergency procedures that will ensure your recovery or to withhold further treatment if your situation is grave and unlikely to improve.
Medical Power of Attorneys, on the other hand, focuses more on the naming of a representative for a patient. It allows you, the Principal, to name a person you trust to give medical consent to treatment when you cannot yourself. Normally, this will only come into effect when a doctor deems you incapable of being able to make your own decisions.
How to Get a Medical Power of Attorney
The process of getting a Medical Power of Attorney is quite similar to other POAs. You can either complete a Healthcare POA form yourself, or you can seek out an Attorney at Law to help you draft the document.
It is possible to find free blank Medical Power of Attorney forms both online and from your healthcare provider. These will give you all you need to name and authorize an Agent to act on your behalf for your medical needs.
Below are the key steps you need to follow to create your own MPOA form.
Choose an Agent
As a Medical POA can grant significantly far-reaching powers, your Attorney-in-Fact needs to be carefully chosen. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a member of your family, but it should always be someone you trust.
You should also speak at length with your prospective Agent to be sure that they consent to the responsibility you’re giving them. Additionally, you must give a very clear picture of what your wishes are regarding your future medical treatment.
There’s also the option to choose a successor or 2nd Agent in case the primary Agent is not able to complete their duties. If desired, you can even set up a compensation plan for the Agent.
Define Agent’s Authority
The next stage of creating your document is to clearly define the powers that you will give to your chosen Agent.
Consider carefully your personal health care situation, and what kind of decisions you will need the Agent to take, either in the short or long term. It’s also important to consider when you want to empower the Agent to act. You can also set a triggering event, such as when a doctor deems you unable to give consent for yourself or start a date for their authority.
You should define the following Agent powers in your POA:
End of life decisions
Nursing home care
Add a Living Will
Although not mandatory, adding a living will to your MPOA is highly recommended by many legal and health care experts. This will help you outline your end-of-life treatment selections, in addition to having someone to speak on your behalf.
By using a living will, you will be able to define what you want to happen in case you were to end up in an incapacitated state without a chance for a cure. It also allows you to choose post-death options such as organ donation.
Sign According to State Requirements
Once your form is completed, it will then need to be signed by both the Principal and the Agent according to the respective state signing laws. In most states, the form will have to be signed in the presence of two witnesses and/or a notary public. The Principal must also be of sound mind and be able to sign the document out of their own free will.
After it has been finalized, you should then file the form with your healthcare providers so that they have the document on record. This will speed up its use in the future.
Be aware, there are five states which require Principals to provide detailed instructions on their Healthcare POA. Standard forms just appointing an Agent will not work in these locations. These states are:
How to Write a Medical Power of Attorney
In order to complete a Medical Power of Attorney document, there are various steps you need to follow:
Select Create Document at the top of this page
Enter the name of both the Principal and the Agent, as well as their address and contact details
Specify on what date the POA will come into effect
Choose the powers and responsibilities you wish to grant the Agent
Download and print your completed forms
Sign and date the documents
Depending on your state, you will usually need a notary and one or more witnesses to sign the document as well. Scroll down to our MPOA statutory forms and signing requirements section to find out the regulations for your state.
Medical Power of Attorney Sample
Below, you’ll find an example of what a completed Medical Power of Attorney looks like. This is a standard sample document that cannot be used in all states nor in all contexts. To create your own customized document, use LawDistrict’s POA template builder.
MPOA Statutory Forms and Signing Requirements
The signing requirements for Medical Power of Attorney documents vary from state to state. However, almost all states require at least one witness or notary public to also sign the document.
Keep in mind that a witness cannot be someone that is related to the Principal or Agent. They also cannot be someone that is a beneficiary in the Principal’s last will and testament. In the event that a notary is necessary, the same notary may not count as a witness to the singing.
Below are the MPOA signing requirements and the related statutory forms for each U.S. state:
FAQs About Medical Power of Attorney
If you’re still not sure if a Medical Power of Attorney is the right choice for your situation, or if you have any doubts or questions, simply browse our FAQs below.
Why Do You Need a Health Care Power of Attorney?
In the unfortunate event that an accident or condition makes it impossible for you to make your own choices, appointing a trustworthy Agent can help ensure that your wishes are fully followed.
Without a Medical Power of Attorney, difficult treatment choices might be made that go against your personal choice or preference.
How to Revoke a Medical Power of Attorney?
If your situation has changed, and you would like to revoke a previously granted Health Care Power of Attorney, you will need to make a written statement revoking the document.
It’s also always essential to check the revocation requirements of the jurisdiction where you executed the documents. Depending on the state, you will often need to give the revocation to everyone who had a copy of the MPOA, or have your revocation witnessed and executed.
Usually, a revocation form must include the following:
A statement that you are of sound mind
Your wish to revoke the MPOA
The date on which the original MPOA was signed
Name of your previous health care Agent
In certain states, it’s possible to simply verbally proclaim your revocation to your assigned medical practitioner, sign a new medical power of attorney (and send it to everyone who had the old document), or simply destroy the MPOA. As mentioned above, make sure to check your specific state’s guidelines to ensure your revocation is properly carried out.
How to Choose a Health Care POA Agent?
When choosing a Health Care or Medical POA Agent, it’s crucial to select someone whose judgment you wholeheartedly trust. You also need to be confident that this person can properly fill the role and make sound decisions in your best interest.
Your Agent should also be able to be assertive in terms of ensuring your wishes are fulfilled, as they may have to carry out your will against the wishes of other family members or friends. They’ll also need to be capable of talking to and asking questions of medical providers, as well as staying calm in moments of crisis.