- Nebraska Health Care Powers Of Attorney
- September 11, 2013
- Law Firm: Seidler Seidler P.C. - Omaha Office
- Have you ever wondered about who would make health care decisions for you if someday you were not able to make your own decisions? Health care decisions can involve hospital admission, choice of physician, medications and course of treatment.
For children, parents usually make health care decisions. Adults, on the other hand, must make their wishes known if there is to be a surrogate decision maker.
Some people assume that their spouses or adult children would be able to make health care decisions for them if needed. However when families encounter the need for institutional health care in a hospital or care facility, they discover that there are formal requirements in order to allow surrogate decision making. The alternatives for surrogate decision making are health care powers of attorney or a Court appointed guardian.
A health care power of attorney is a document that involves at least two people. The “principal” is the person who signs the power of attorney and is the person concerned about future health care decisions. The “agent” is the person who will make the decisions at the appropriate time in the future. Health care powers of attorney are only used when at least one doctor is convinced that the principal is unable to make his or her own health care decision. Many times, spouses will name each other as agents for health care decisions. Sometimes people name one of their adult children as an alternate agent. However, anybody that you trust can be named as your agent. It is especially important to have a health care agent who is someone other than a spouse or child.
Health care powers of attorney are voluntary documents. You cannot force someone to name you as their agent, and the relationship can be revoked at any time.
Health care powers of attorney can also be used to specify what type of health care should be given or withheld, what doctors that should be consulted, or any limits on health care
Nebraska statutes provide an optional health care power of attorney form that is available as a pre-printed form. More complex health care powers of attorney can be prepared by an attorney at law.
Health care powers of attorney are one of the best types of planning that is available for anybody who is concerned about how their future health care decisions will be made.
The information contained in this article is general information. Slight changes in individual situations may require material variance in the applicable advice. You should not attempt to solve individual problems based on the advice in this article.