If you are scheduled for surgery, creating an estate plan can quickly become a top priority. An important part of any estate plan—especially for someone who is facing surgery—is the advanced directive. This document allows you to appoint someone who will make health care decisions on your behalf. Before signing this form, however, it is important that you understand the rights and powers that your agent will be given.
Choosing Not to Limit the Authority of Your Agent
When completing an advanced directive, you essentially have two options. First, you can outline and define the scope of your agent’s authority. Second, you can instead opt to not limit the authority of your agent. In these cases, your agent will have all of the following rights:
- Provide consent or withhold consent to any care, treatment, service, or procedure that is needed to maintain, diagnose, or otherwise affect your physical or mental condition.
- Choose or discharge the doctor and institution that provides you with treatment.
- Agree or disagree to the performance of diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, and medication plans.
- Agree or disagree with the providing, withholding, or withdrawal of artificial feeding and fluids and all other forms of health care.
- Donate your organs, authorize an autopsy, and make decisions about what will be done with your body after your death.
If you are comfortable with your agent having these rights and this authority, you may opt to skip any kind of limitation within the document. These decisions are not often easy to make. Fortunately, you can seek guidance from an experienced professional. We encourage you to send us a message directly from our website today for more information.