A medical power of attorney is someone you designate to make health care decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated due to injury or illness. However, you may worry about giving so much power to another person. One option is to create a springing provision that activates your POA.
When composing the documents for your springing POA, you can create requirements to allow your medical POA to assume his or her duties. According to Aging Care, it is important to specify the conditions to trigger your POA.
You may suffer a disability but that does not mean you lack the mental capacity to determine your health care choices. Disabilities can vary in their impact. To take one example, a vegetative state resulting from an injury is a form of incapacitation that robs you of the ability to think or communicate.
On the other hand, you may suffer slight memory problems as a result of age but can still act on your own behalf with some assistance. Your POA document should establish how to determine when you have lost the competency to make care decisions.
Making your POA document too ambiguous can leave your relatives in a quandary even if you have genuinely suffered incapacitation. Your family may have to go to court to have a judge activate the duties of your POA. The legal process could take a while and leave you without help from your POA when you need it.
In addition to spelling out your standards for incompetency, you could require a doctor to certify you as incapacitated. To further identify how you want treatment in the event your health declines, consider writing a living will. Options such as these may make your medical POA as effective as possible.