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Medical Power of Attorney Colorado

Create your medical power of attorney in Colorado today. Developed by Duncan Legal, PC lawyers, customized by you. Call us for more guidance.

Colorado Medical Power of Attorney: Planning Your Future Health Care

Are you worried about what will happen if you become incapacitated and no longer able to make your own healthcare decisions? In Colorado, you can create a medical power of attorney (POA) to allow a person or entity you trust to make those decisions for you. By having a medical POA in place, you’d save your family a lot of guesswork and ensure the proper execution of your wishes.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about medical power of attorney in Colorado. If you have more questions or you’re looking to create one, reach out to our attorneys at Duncan Legal, PC.

What Is a Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney, also known as a healthcare power of attorney, is a legal document that lets you appoint a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to. It includes specific instructions about your preferences when it comes to the types of medical care treatments you would accept or refuse. It also includes your views on organ donation, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

The appointed person is called a health care agent or simply an agent. Medical powers of attorney don’t affect a person’s right to make their own decisions if they are capable. However, if they are not, the agent makes sure your wishes are honored if you can’t speak for yourself.

Drafting a POA doesn’t require an attorney, but if you want to make sure you have a comprehensive, watertight, and legally binding document, it’s crucial to work with an estate planning attorney. Our estate planning attorney in Centennial, CO, can help.

 

Benefits and Limitations of a Medical Power of Attorney

Medical POAs are a powerful tool to plan for the future and ensure you are well cared for. Here are some reasons why you should consider creating a medical POA:

  • You can designate someone you trust to make the best decisions for you.
  • You maintain your right to enforce your values and goals even if incapacitated.
  • It reduces the risk of disputes among and between family members and healthcare providers.
  • It protects your right to self-determination and autonomy.
  • You can change or revoke it anytime as long as you have decisional capacity.

However, medical POAs are not perfect, and it may be wise to combine them with other estate planning instruments to cover their limitations.

Some of the shortcomings of a medical POA are:

  • Your chosen healthcare agent may not be willing to carry out their responsibility, follow your instructions, or act in your best interests.
  • Medical professionals may not always comply with your decisions if they find them inappropriate.
  • It doesn’t cover every scenario that may arise during your medical treatment.
  • If you relocate, certain wishes in your POA may not be recognized or enforced in other states.
  • Your family members can challenge it in court.

How to Create a Medical Power of Attorney in Colorado?

Creating a medical power of attorney is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Consult an attorney: This step is optional but highly recommended. An estate planning attorney will make sure everything is legally sound and that you understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Choose an agent: This can be a family member or friend. Make sure you discuss your desire to assign the person as your agent in advance.
  • Fill out the POA form: You can use a state form or online templates. Your attorney will advise you on which option is best for your unique needs.
  • Sign and date the form: In order for your POA to be valid and legally binding, it must be signed by you, the principal. Colorado doesn’t require the signature of witnesses or notarization. However, you may need to do both if you want to use your medical POA in other states.
  • Share copies of the POA: Share copies of the POA with any interested party and keep the original in a safe and accessible place.

If you need help creating a living will in Colorado, lawyers at Duncan Legal, PC, are available.

 

Legal Requirements for Signing and Witnessing a Medical Power of Attorney Document in Colorado?

The state of Colorado has specific rules and regulations when it comes to creating a valid and legally binding POA. These include:

  • Being at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
  • Naming an agent who is over 18 years old and willing to act on your behalf. You should also name a successor agent who can take over if your first agent is unable or unwilling to act as your agent.
  • Specifying the scope of authority you grant to your agent.
  • Signing and dating the document before two witnesses or a notary public. Your witnesses cannot be your:
    • Agent
    • Healthcare provider
    • An employee of your healthcare provider

How to Revoke a Medical Power of Attorney?

If you have created a medical power of attorney but you need to revoke it, here’s what you can do:

  • Execute a new medical power of attorney document that expressly revokes the old one. The new POA should be dated, signed, and witnessed according to the Colorado legal requirements. Also, notify and provide a copy of the new POA to:

    • Your agent

    • Successor agents

    • Family members

    • Healthcare providers who have your medical records

  • Write a revocation document that cancels the medical power of attorney and states the reasons for revocation.

Remember to dispose of the original and all copies of the medical power of attorney.

How Does Medical Power of Attorney Interacts With Other Advance Directives?

A medical power of attorney document is one type of advance directive. Other types of healthcare advance directives include:

  • Living wills

  • CPR medical orders

  • POLST forms

These advance directive forms can interact with each other in different ways. This often depends on the situation and the state laws. For instance:

  • A living will states your preferences for medical treatments in certain end-of-life situations.

  • A CPR order instructs health care providers whether to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you experience a heart attack, for example.

  • A POLST, Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, form summarizes your wishes for life-sustaining treatments. These include artificial nutrition and hydration, antibiotics, and ventilators.

Generally, a medical power of attorney document doesn’t override other medical directives. Unless you specifically authorize your agent to do so. Therefore, it is important to communicate your wishes clearly, set clear instructions and expectations, and review and update your advance directives regularly.

Duncan Legal, PC, Can Help You

Estate planning attorneys at Duncan Legal, PC, can help you draft a Colorado medical durable power of attorney that expressly communicates your wishes and instructions. We will help you explore your advance care planning options and clarify any misconceptions about living wills you may have.

We have been helping Colorado residents plan their estate for three decades, and we are well-versed in Colorado law. You can rest assured that your needs are well taken care of with the help of our attorneys.

Contact us today for a professional consultation!

 

FAQs

 

What’s the Difference Between Financial and Medical Power of Attorney?

Colorado financial power of attorney is used to delegate financial decisions to an agent, such as asset management, investment, and real estate transactions. A medical POA is used solely for healthcare decisions. The two should be separate documents even if the agent is the same.

Flat-fee options are available for wills, trusts and probate:

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