How important are powers of attorney in health and New Jersey?

How many times do people think to themselves that they should plan ahead for possible unforeseen events but yet never seem to get around to doing so? One of the most important yet often neglected details is having in place official powers of attorney especially regarding health care treatment issues. Selecting the right person and making sure that all personal wishes are in writing is critical to all concerned parties in the event of a medical emergency. Everyone in New Jersey needs to be aware of the importance of making sure his or her desires are cared out.

The actual designation of a health care power of attorney helps to ensure that a person will have someone else decide what medical care is received if the ill or injured party is unable due to an altered metal status or unconsciousness to speak up for themselves. The need for a POA  could occur without warning, such as a sudden cardiac arrest or a serious car accident. The tragedy would be compounded if a designated person was either unknown or worse, was not aware of what an ill or injured person's wishes were.

Every state allows for some type of health care POA. Most emergency centers will check to see if such a document is to be followed during the admittance process. The power of attorney should also check to make sure that the hospital involved accepts this type of legal directive. If not, then a move to a different medical center could be considered if it could be done without causing further harm.

Nuclear accidents, hurricanes, and  other disasters can give New Jersey citizens a challenge to meet. Making sure that a person's wishes are understood and followed can be one less challenge to worry about. Everyone should consider what powers of attorney they may need. The advice of a professional knowledgeable about living documents can help anyone be sure their wishes are legally recorded.

Source: communitynewspapergroup.com, "FINANCIAL: Everyone should have a health care power of attorney," Jon Ford, July 1, 2013

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