An Advance Directive and Appointment of Healthcare Agent informs your health care provider as to your wishes regarding your care if you are unable to communicate decisions in that regard and names a person to communicate them for youand act on your behalf. Unlike a general power of attorney (General POA), your Health Care Agent’s authority rests with your health care, not business or personal affairs or finance.
You should name a Health Care Agent you trust, but you may name anyone to serve in that capacity. Domestic Partners may serve as Health Care Agents and have the same “high priority” status as a spouse for health care decision making under Maryland law.
Your Advance Directive deals with the kind of health care treatment you may wish to have. It may address such areas as the use of life support, do not revive or resuscitate orders, the use of feeding tubes, and “comfort care” or the use of medication to alleviate pain even though that may shorten your life. All of these matters should be discussed with those close to you.
Usually, your Advance Directive and Appointment of your Health Care Agent will take effect when you are unable to communicate decisions regarding your health care. It may be revoked any time. For more information, contact one of PK Law’s Wealth Preservation Attorneys. http://www.pklaw.com/practice-areas/wealth-preservation/