First, does the patient have a Power of Attorney? Persons who are terminally ill need to consider who will pay their bills, make financial decisions, and take care of their business. In addition to a Financial Power of Attorney, the patient needs to have a Health Care Power of Attorney. The Health Care Power of Attorney will allow the person who has the Power of Attorney to make medical decisions on behalf of the critically ill patient. If a person enters hospice and does not have a Power of Attorney and is considered to not have capacity enough to make decisions, then persons seeking to care for the patient will have to get court approval through an interdiction proceeding that will take time and a significant amount of money. Powers of Attorney should be considered by persons as they age in order to avoid the possibility of not having the capacity to complete one at the time it is needed.
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