I have designated a guardian of the person. Should I still sign a Medical Power of Attorney?
Yes, unless you prefer to have an “adult surrogate” make decisions on your behalf during your incompetency up until the time a guardian is named for you (if ever).
- A Medical Power of Attorney takes effect the instant you are declared incompetent. With both a Declaration of Guardian and Medical Power of Attorney in place, your Medical Power of Attorney agent will make health care decisions on your behalf so long as the power of attorney is effective and until a judge signs a court order naming a guardian for you.
- A Medical Power of Attorney agent can act during the gap between incompetency and the time a court names a guardian, or longer if no guardian is ever named for you.
- Naming an agent in a Medical Power of Attorney can also save you money, because it can often help avoid the expense of a court-ordered guardianship.
- A guardian of the person takes time because the guardian must be approved by a court. If a court approves a guardian, the guardian will then have sole authority to make health care decisions, unless the court determines that the agent should continue.