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Rights and responsibilities of patient advocates

Estate planning can cover a diverse range of topics. Although many Michigan residents may focus their estate planning needs on drafting wills and establishing trusts, the creation and execution of powers of attorney are important as well. Power of attorney documents discuss what will be done when people can no longer make their own medical and financial decisions.

For example, a healthcare power of attorney may be drafted by a person who has strong opinions on how their medical care should be provided. If the person wishes to receive all possible life-sustaining care in the event of their illness or injury, they may communicate that in their power of attorney. They may then name a person to administer their power of attorney to help ensure that it is followed.

The administrator of a healthcare power of attorney may be called a patient advocate, and that patient advocate has many responsibilities they must fulfill. Although the patient advocate can never go against the express wishes of the individual as communicated in their power of attorney, they may provide guidance on topics that are not anticipated in the legal document. The patient advocate may review the person's medical records, find new healthcare providers for the person, and visit with the person while they are under medical care.

Powers of attorney are important legal documents that provide individuals with the power to control how their medical decisions are made in the event of their incapacitation. Specific legal advice on these and other estate planning documents should be sought from local Michigan attorneys.

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