Deciphering the Difference Between Durable Power of Attorney vs. Medical Power of Attorney

Advance Health Care Directive Deciphering the Difference Between Durable Power of Attorney vs. Medical Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney vs. Medical Power of Attorney—The Breakdown

When it comes to assigning a durable power of attorney or medical power of attorney—also known as a living will, an advance health care directive, or health care proxy, it’s imperative to know which one best fits your needs.

While the fundamentals are the same, there are several differences that should be taken into consideration before you pick one. If you’re looking for answers to the durable power of attorney vs. medical power of attorney question, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know!

Unsure about how to go about creating a power of attorney document and what it entails? Use DoNotPay to make your journey hassle-free.

What Is the Difference Between Durable and Medical Power of Attorney?

If you are looking to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, it is imperative to know what a power of attorney and a health care directive is. The basic difference between a durable and medical power of attorney lies in the amount of control it gives the appointed person over you.

What is an Agent?

An agent is someone who is assigned a power of attorney and can act or make decisions on your behalf. An agent is also known as:

What Can an Agent Do?

A durable power of attorney generally gives your agent the ability to make decisions about your financial, legal, business, as well as health care matters.

It’s called durable because it remains valid even after you become indisposed. A medical power of attorney only gives your agent control over all your medical decisions.

Medical Power of Attorney vs. Durable Power of Attorney—What Should I Choose?

Many people assign a durable power of attorney as a contingency for the future.

A health care power of attorney is assigned exclusively to make important medical decisions when you are unable to speak for yourself. Here’s when each of these is exercised:

Durable Power of Attorney Medical Power of Attorney
This type of power of attorney is assigned when a person is:

  • Away from their home for a long time
  • Diagnosed with an illness that might lead to incapacitation or death
  • Nearing an age when they will no longer be able to make decisions
  • Preparing for retirement
This type of power of attorney is assigned for a person who:

  • Requires medical ventilation
  • Is suffering from a condition that can lead to the use of a DNR
  • Is nearing the end of their life and requires a decision about administering antiviral or antibiotic medication
  • Requires special comfort care
  • Wishes to donate their organs or tissue post-mortem

Who Can This Power Be Transferred To?

You are allowed to appoint one or more people to act as your power of attorney. In most cases, it would be:

  • A relative
  • A Spouse or a long-term partner
  • An adult sibling or child
  • A Court-appointed guardian
  • A friend

How To Create a Power of Attorney Document on Your Own

If you decide to create a living will or medical power of attorney on your own, you will need to fill out a living will or an advanced directive form. You will be required to include the following information in your form:

  1. Your name, address, and signature
  2. Your agent’s name, address, and signature
  3. The type and duration of the power of attorney
  4. The amount of power you want your agent to have
  5. Two witnesses and their signatures

If you’re prepared to pay up, you could hire an attorney to assist you. Even then, the process is quite hectic and requires a lot of time and effort.

Having Trouble Crafting a Medical Power of Attorney Document? DoNotPay Can Help

Creating a living will can be expensive, regardless of whether you hire a lawyer or do it yourself. DoNotPay offers a solution that can save you a lot of time, money, and effort in drafting a power of attorney document. All you have to do is:

  1. Log in to DoNotPay and locate the Advanced Health Care Directive tool
  2. Provide some details about yourself and your request

We will create a custom document for you. You have to get it notarized, and we can help you connect to an online notary to help speed up the process.

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