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Ask The Lawyer By Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.

| March 13, 2016

Dan Gwin new photoThis week’s question:

QUESTION: Do I need a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, isn’t the form the hospital gives me enough?

ANSWER:     A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is essential to your estate plan. Other names for this document are Health Care Directive or Living Will.  This Power of Attorney gives the person of your choice the authority to make decisions about your health care when you are unable to do so because of a serious medical condition. As long as you can communicate with your health care provider, your wishes about your health care must be honored. But, for example, in the unfortunate circumstance where you are unconscious or in a persistent vegetative state, you need someone to act on your behalf.

Hospitals will provide documents to you when you are admitted to the hospital, however they are not always drafted to express what you want done in the event of a medical emergency, as your Power of Attorney for Health Care would be. Your attorney can draft the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to fit your unique situation. In addition, when presented with the hospital’s documents, you may not be in the clearest state of mind due to pain, fear, or confusion to make a reasoned, informed decision. It is best to be prepared, before your medical situation.  A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is one of the components of the basic estate plan that every adult should have.

The lawyers at GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced estate planning attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about estate planning or your other legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at

Ask The Lawyer
By Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law

901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310

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