A Medical Power of Attorney, or sometimes called a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, is something that you put in place ahead of time when you still have the capacity to make decisions for yourself, but you appoint someone as the designated person to make the decisions in the event that you lose that capacity. If you’re unconscious or in a coma, or if you’re at death’s door and someone needs to step in and make certain decisions on your behalf.

This is a document that … it’s notarized and it’s executed with the formality of a durable power of attorney or a will. What it does is it places within one person, or two, or three, or however you wish to set it up, the authority to make the decisions for you. This assumes that you don’t have specific requests in mind, but really just you want someone that you trust in place to make decisions for you just in case you can’t make them on your own.

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