What is a “Durable” Power of Attorney for Health Care?

Through a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, an agent may continue to act on your behalf even after you have had a stroke of other incapacitating illness or accident. if the power of attorney so provides, the agent can contract for nursing home services for your benefit and can make basic health care decisions for you. An aging parent may wish to give a durable power of attorney to a responsible adult child (who would make health care decisions in the same manner that the parent would make) so that the child can act on the parents behalf and carry on routine matters in the event the parent is disabled or incapacitated. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) must also be considered in making a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

It is also possible to create a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care so that it will only go into effect when the principal is incapacitated of when some other stipulated event of condition occurs. this is ordinarily called a springing durable power of attorney.

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