Is a Power of Attorney Responsible for Medical Bills?
Did a loved one choose you as their health care agent, or do you want to appoint someone in your advance directive? You may have many questions about the obligations and rights passed to an agent, for instance—is a power of attorney responsible for medical bills? This guide will help you understand the role of a health care agent. We will also show you how to prepare an advance directive easily using DoNotPay.
There are two types of power of attorney granting different authority, as defined below:
- A general durable power of attorney—It gives the agent authority to handle your financial affairs, such as paying mortgage and taxes
- A medical power of attorney—It provides the agent (also known as health care proxy, surrogate, or attorney-in-fact) authority to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated
The obligations of an agent can also vary based on:
- Limits or terms set by the principal (the person creating a power of attorney)
- Laws of the state where the document is created
The table below provides a detailed explanation of what the agent can do on behalf of the principal:
|A general durable power of attorney||
|A medical power of attorney (also known as a health care proxy)||
A person appointed as an agent, be it for a medical or financial power of attorney, is not responsible for medical bills. The source of funds for medical bills can be the principal’s:
- Health insurance provider
- Family member, like a spouse, parent, or guardian
- Public benefits program, like Medicaid
The agent appointed in a financial power of attorney must manage the principal’s money carefully. If the principal dies, a power of attorney is annulled. Any debt, including medical bills, is transferred to the principal’s estate, but the agent can be responsible for them in the following situations:
- Signing additional paperwork that makes the agent liable, like guaranteeing a loan
- Being related to the principal by blood or marriage
- Holding joint accounts or being a cosigner with the principal
Specifying the powers you want to give to your agent can ensure that your wishes are honored. DoNotPay will help you create an advance directive that presents your wishes and instructions in a straightforward manner. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and we will prepare a personalized power of attorney or living will. Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Open DoNotPay from any web browser
- Select the Advance Health Care Directive tool
- Enter the names of your agent and witnesses
- Complete the brief questionnaire
Once you submit the information, your document will be ready in no time. You may be required to have your advance directive notarized depending on your state laws. DoNotPay can enable you to organize a video meeting with an online notary.
You can also use the guides in our knowledge base to find out more about advance directives, including:
- What an advance directive form should contain
- How to create a psychiatric advance directive form
- What the cost of obtaining a living will form is
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