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What is a durable power of attorney?

Michigan residents can suffer from a variety of serious health issues. These issues can progress slowly or quickly and take away a person's ability to make decisions on the person's own behalf. When this happens, Michigan residents may need friends or family members to make important medical decisions for them. Otherwise, people may be left without being able to have a voice in their own treatment.

There are many legal avenues that can be taken in order for people to get decision-making power when it comes to their health. One way is through a durable power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney lets an individual assign another person the power to manage that person's medical care should the signer become incapacitated. The durable power of attorney allows the other person to make decisions about remaining on life-support, receiving life-saving treatment and other important medical treatments.

In order for a durable power of attorney to be valid under Michigan law it must be in writing and be made when a person is over the age of 18 and is of sound mind. The patient cannot be pregnant and the durable power of attorney must be made part of the patient's medical records before it has to be implemented. Also, to be valid, the patient advocate must've signed an acceptance and must've done so voluntarily. A durable power of attorney can only be used when the patient is no longer able to participate in medical decisions.

If all these factors have been met, then a durable power of attorney is valid and can be used in cases of emergency. Michigan residents should understand how a durable power of attorney can fit in with their estate plans. Estate planning and long-term care planning can be important parts of ensuring that a person's future is taken care of. An attorney can offer specific legal advice about when people may need a durable power of attorney in Michigan.

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