What is the legal process in Connecticut when someone becomes incapacitated and they are incapable of making decisions for themselves?
This is a question that our readers probably would rather not consider, and like-minded individuals usually plan ahead. When people do plan ahead, they typically think about a will - but a will is not the only thing Connecticut residents need to consider.
Creating a durable power of attorney for health care during the estate planning process will establish a health care representative to express the drafter's preferences. A durable power of attorney for health care typically covers which kind of medical treatment the person wants, as well as which treatments, if any, the drafter will agree to if the treatment is merely delaying death.
While drafting a durable power of attorney for health care, the drafter should have a conversation with their family regarding their desires. A conversation will enable the drafter's family the chance to give feedback while also helping to make sure the family knows the drafter's intent.
A durable power of attorney for health care should cover several key concerns, such as how to handle feeding tubes if the drafter is in a vegetative state.
Besides whether to remain hooked up to feeding tubes, the power of attorney should allow the health care representative to make arrangements regarding the drafter's health care services in addition to the authority to grant releases - especially releases for surgery.
The power of attorney should also grant the health care representative the ability to get the drafter's medical information. Without a health care power of attorney, federal law makes it nearly impossible for a third party to obtain health care information about someone else.
Lastly, the power of attorney should grant power regarding the drafter's body after death. This includes how to deal with autopsy and anatomical gifts. Here, again, the drafter should make their desires clear ahead of time.
After the drafter has gone through the work of drafting a health care power of attorney and established a health care representative, they need to take one last step; give a copy to all relevant doctors.
Source: eMissourian, "Common Estate Planning Mistakes: Failure to Have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care," Walter A. Murray Jr., July 6, 2012