Make Sure You Have This Now: Power of Attorney

Power Of Attorney

Thinking about your health legal documents may not be at the top of your “fun things to do today” list. I get it. It can be scary thinking about the possibility of being temporarily or permanently incapacitated. “But I’m so healthy. That won’t happen to me.” Unfortunately, it can. Better to consider it now than when you are no longer able to handle your own affairs.

This month we are focusing on the health legal documents you need before you go to the hospital. If you missed any of the series so far, catch up with the links at the end of this post. 

Continuing with our series, today we are going to discuss Power of Attorney.  

The person designated in the Power of Attorney legally can do anything you would normally do.

The designated person can access your money, pay your bills, do your banking, decide and where you are going to live, among many other things.

If you are incapacitated for a long period of time, you need someone to handle your affairs while you are getting better.

Obviously, it is very important that you pick someone you trust. The person with your Power of Attorney can empty your bank account and make decisions for you that can greatly impact your life.

It is generally a good idea to select only one person. If you select two people, there may be disagreements among them and it may be difficult to get a clear answer on some things that must be decided. You can ask the person you are giving your Power of Attorney to discuss any significant decisions with other family members or friends, however, it is best to have one person ultimately making the decision. This is also helpful for the hospital and the healthcare providers so they know who to go to talk to for a decision.

If you don’t already have a Power of Attorney in place, speak with an estate planning attorney.

Taking a little uncomfortable time planning now could be beneficial to you and your loved ones later.

In my upcoming blog posts, I’ll discuss more health legal documents you should have in place. STAY TUNED!

Previous posts in this series:

Have you ever had problems getting your family to allow to follow your wishes? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

To learn more about your stay in a hospital, subscribe to and receive a FREE copy of my ebook Easy Healthcare: Your Hospital Stay. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

With MyHealthspin, You Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!

Patient Advocate Form: What it is and why you need one

Bridgewalk TexMary

Who will follow your wishes for your healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to make the decisions for yourself? Hopefully you designated that person on a Patient Advocate form. 

This month we are focusing on what health legal documents you need before you go to the hospital. If you missed the introduction to this series, you can find it here: The Health Legal Documents You Need Before You Go to the Hospital.

This document was very important for my mother when she was taken by ambulance to the hospital after a stroke on Labor Day evening. She and my father happily walked the Mackinac Bridge that day as they did every Labor Day for 25 years.

As you can see from this picture which was taken right after my parent’s finished their bridge walk, my mother was a vibrant, energetic 77-year-old retired nurse who felt very strongly that if she was not able to live a full life, she was comfortable with passing away. She didn’t want any extraordinary measures taken, such as major surgeries, ventilators, feeding tubes, and so on. Because she had made her wishes very clear in her Patient Advocate form there was no question among me and my five brothers and sisters as to what we should tell the doctors.

We were lucky that my mom was clear about her wishes. Many families do not have this document so the family argues about what should be done while their loved one lingers in the hospital.

It is also important to know that doctors differ in their views of end of life. Some doctors and hospitals insist that everything be done that can be done. They are concerned about being sued for malpractice or they have their own religious views.

If you don’t want the hospital, doctor, or a well-intentioned loved one making choices for your healthcare that you don’t agree with, spell out your wishes clearly in a Patient Advocate form.

The Patient Advocate form has many names, so don’t be confused if you hear these terms:  

  1. Medical Durable Power of Attorney
  2. Advanced Directive
  3. Living Will
  4. Do Not Resuscitate order

All of these terms basically involve the same subject: What are your wishes for your medical care if you can’t make the decisions for yourself?

If you don’t already have a Patient Advocate form in place, speak with your hospital or attorney.

In my upcoming blog posts, I’ll discuss other legal medical documents you need. STAY TUNED!

Have you ever had problems getting the hospital to allow you or your loved one to follow your wishes? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

To learn more about your stay in a hospital, subscribe to and receive a FREE copy of my ebook Easy Healthcare: Your Hospital Stay. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

With MyHealthspin, You Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!

Talking Family Healthcare at the Holidays

Portrait of happy family members sitting at festive table on ThaThe holidays are filled with friends, shopping, and being together with family you only get to see this time of year.  And while your visit with parents and siblings should be about catching up, it’s also a good time to check in with your family about important healthcare topics.  These conversations are often difficult but necessary.  

Do all the members of your family have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare?  MyHealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare:  Your Hospital Stay provides easy and specific steps to complete before being admitted to a hospital.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare or patient advocate designation, is a legal document in which you name the person who will make medical decisions for you if you can’t yourself.  This document is often included in your will or trust. That person, called a patient advocate, will only be able to make decisions for you in the event that you can’t communicate yourself. Your patient advocate can only make medical decisions. He or she won’t be able to make  decisions about your finances unless you also give them that power in your will or trust. You can also give your patient advocate the power to donate your organs or your entire body upon your death.

Often, people do not like to talk about how they will handle their healthcare if they get sick or age.  But finalizing these issues BEFORE you need to is the key.  The holidays are a good time to discuss these issues since it is one of the rare times that many family members are together. Even if it’s only to get them on the family radar.

Do you know where Dad keeps his will or trust?  Do you know what your Mom and Dad want done when they die?  These are important topics to discuss with your family so there will be no surprises.  Communication and preparation can avoid conflicts in the family and unnecessary expenses that arise when your family’s wishes are not known when they get sick or die.

So enjoy the holidays but also find some time to have the important discussions that are necessary to be prepared prior to an illness.


Although we’d all like to avoid it, it’s likely that most of us will at some point be admitted to the hospital. Whether you are staying in a hospital for a happy event, such as the birth of a child, or are being admitted due to an emergency or serious illness, you should understand how a hospital works. MyHealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Your Hospital Stay reveals the easy and practical answers that only an insider knows.

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Available for download NOW!