Health Care Power of Attorney
An experienced estate planning lawyer ready to meet with you
When we go to the doctor, we make our own decisions on medical treatment. But what if you needed medical treatment and were unable to speak for yourself? It’s something people don’t usually think about. That’s why it’s important to have a health care power of attorney as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Attorney Yuka Hongo of Hongo Law Office, LLLC helps people in Japan and Hawaii create estate plans that meet their needs. Estate law is different in the United States, and attorney Hongo helps clients overcome the language and cultural barriers that they face. She helps them make sense of the estate planning process so they can prepare for the future.
An important part of your estate plan
A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated. If this ever happens, someone will need to make these types of decisions. It could be your spouse, an adult child or other relative. A power of attorney lets you choose the person you want to have this authority.
A person is considered incapacitated if they are unable to communicate their wishes to a doctor, either because of physical or mental illness. For example, a person may be unconscious after being in an accident. An older person may be suffering from dementia. Or the person could be terminally ill and in a coma.
The health care power of attorney lets you choose an agent to make decisions for you. This authority can be very broad. The agent would be able to consent or refuse to consent to any medical treatment suggested by doctors, hire or dismiss medical professionals, make decisions on which medical facility to use and access your medical records.
There are several things to consider when choosing an agent for your health care power of attorney. The person should be familiar with your wishes regarding medical treatment. It should be someone assertive enough to withstand criticism from family members who may disagree with the decisions made. It is also helpful if the person lives nearby.
Take steps now to prepare for the future
You can revoke a health care power of attorney at any time or make changes to it. You can also name an alternate agent in the event the agent you named dies before you. A health care power of attorney does not take effect until a doctor has determined that you are incapacitated and can’t make decisions about your own care.
Attorney Yuka Hongo can help you prepare a health care power of attorney as part of an estate plan. She can review your situation, discuss your wishes, explain your options and answer any questions you have. She can also help you prepare other documents to protect your assets and plan for the future, such as trusts.
Learn more about creating a health care power of attorney. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our Honolulu office. Attorney Hongo also meets with clients in Japan, which she typically visits twice each year to give estate planning seminars.