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Powers of Attorney for Healthcare


Wisconsin Lawyers for Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Waukesha

People do not plan for health incidents that leave them incapacitated, but they can plan who will make their healthcare decisions if such a situation arises. Powers of attorney for healthcare documents allow people to designate healthcare agents in case they become unable to communicate. The agent will instruct physicians as to the patient's wishes when decisions need to be made. In Wisconsin, a power of attorney for healthcare is different from a living will and normally supersedes a living will if the documents conflict.
At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our estate planning attorneys can advise you on what the power of attorney for healthcare entails and how to give clear instructions to your healthcare agent.

Choosing a Healthcare Agent

People usually grant the power of attorney for healthcare to a family member. The only restrictions in picking a healthcare agent are that the person:

  • Must be an adult;
  • Must be of sound mind; and
  • Cannot be your healthcare provider or someone who works at the healthcare facility, unless that person is a relative.

Once you have chosen a healthcare agent, you both need to discuss your beliefs and preferences in relation to your healthcare. Topics may include:

  • What the physician should do if your condition is terminal or irreversible;
  • Whether quality of life and comfort are more important than treating you;
  • How your religious beliefs may influence your personal health decisions; and
  • If your finances should be considered when making decisions.

If your healthcare agent does not know what you would want, he or she must decide based on what is assumed to be in your best interest. Our attorneys at GRGB can help you give clear instructions when filling out your power of attorney for healthcare document.

Extent of Power

A healthcare agent gains the power of attorney for healthcare when two physicians confirm that the patient is incapacitated and unable to communicate. In your power of attorney document, you can give your healthcare agent specific directions on what decisions should be made for you such as:

  • End-of-life care;
  • Withholding a feeding tube;
  • Admission to a nursing home;
  • Pregnancy concerns; and
  • Organ donation, in the case of death.

To consent to assigning a healthcare agent, you must complete a power of attorney for healthcare document while you are of sound mind. Our Wisconsin attorneys at GRGB can prepare the paperwork and explain how to direct your healthcare agent in making decisions for you. To discuss power of attorney and other forms of estate planning, schedule an appointment today by contacting our Milwaukee office at 414-271-1440.

Attorneys on our Powers of Attorney for Health Care Team:

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