The California Medical Power of Attorney form (also known as a Healthcare Power of Attorney or HCPOA) is a document that authorizes the legal permission for a person of your choosing to execute your health care directives. To put it simply, you allow another person to make your medical decisions for you.
When a person becomes unable to make proper decisions regarding their health and treatments, they can give the power to another person with this form. This Power of Attorney form provides a person to name somebody as an “agent” who will be in charge of making medical decisions on their behalf in California medical facilities.
The California Medical Board has set up different standardization grounds for various circumstances, but we are discussing the basic Medical POA form for California for this brief overview of the topic. Each state has different laws that govern the creation, execution, and dissolution of a medical power of attorney in that state only. Although they are broadly similar, it is best to understand some of the subtle differences due to the laws of that particular state. The dedicated staff of the local governments updates these forms and regulations frequently.
Medical POA Specifics
The powers that a person may get from the HCPOA form are widespread (literally life and death), and so the form issuer is asked to specify and limit the authority. The person who holds a power of attorney form in any county of California will be given the control over the subject’s consent or refusal of medical terms to choose and determine treatment of nearly every form of aid and medical care. But they will be subjected to the issuer’s will or limitations imposed on some medical conduct as written in the Power of Attorney Form.
NOTE: It is vital that the person you choose to be your agent representing you in your medical decisions be either VERY loyal to your wishes or be very aligned in your general thoughts concerning medicine. You do not want to pick someone that will make their OWN decisions based on their beliefs and impose them upon you. Choose your agent wisely. The California Medical POA document also procures the legal right to perform anatomical parts donation, body autopsy, and even the future state of your remains.
Can a power of attorney agent deny visitation?
A representative with a medical power of attorney can limit or refuse access to the POA principal. If the agent believes that visiting the principal would worsen their physical or mental condition, the agent may deny visitations, even if the medical staff has not advised against it. As long as the agent doesn't act against their fiduciary duty, they can allow or deny certain visitors.
Denying visitation by a POA agent is a contentious matter that can often lead to a dispute between the two sides of the family. The sides start accusing one another of not acting in the best interests of the incapacitated person, which can then be escalated to legal proceedings.
This form has few formal requirements, which is surprising for such gigantic and sweeping authority. The U.S. Constitution allows for any two citizens to enter into a written agreement and have it binding in a court of law. Yes, the California Medical POA is a contract, and one of the specifications is that the two parties be of a minimum age of 18 years old.
The other specific requirement is that a public notary verifies the document’s signing. That is, you have to sign it in front of them so that they verify that it was you and your representative who have entered into this contract. There are thousands of notaries in the phone book, your bank, the post offices, etc. It will usually run you less than $50.
An additional stipulation is that the grantor of the powers is of mental capacity to sign the document in the first place. So create the Medical POA when you are still healthy, not at the hospital bedside.
NOTE: There is also the possibility of selecting an alternate agent who is allowed to make decisions only when the primary agent is unavailable, losing their capacity to make sound decisions or their own death.
The California Medical Power of Attorney is a durable document and stays in effect while the grantor and, of course, the agent are alive.
Some directives in the Medical POA can stipulate decisions after the grantor has died, and after the execution of these directives, the Medical POA becomes nullified. There is also an option for the principal to bind the durability and assure the Power of Attorney to somebody only for a specific period, such as when a spouse is out of the country or the duration of an illness.
In conclusion, the process of creating the form itself (like other types of the California POAs) takes just a little time. Once this form is completed and issued, the principal should carefully keep the original document and hand over an attested copy to the nominated agent. It is secure to keep few more copies with close family relatives to prevent forgery or fraud.
We hope to have briefly covered this important topic and are preparing an even more detailed document concerning the very specifics that one needs to consider.