What if Your Healthcare POA Isn’t Around or Has Passed Away?

Estate planning in La Jolla, University City – UTC, and San Diego

By Amy Hsiao

Oct 24

What happens if the person you’ve nominated as your healthcare power of attorney (POA) either isn’t around to make decisions on your behalf or has passed away? Once again, Dr. Bob Uslander is here to help answer that question today.

My take is that, no matter what, you should always have a backup plan when it comes to something as important as your health. I recommend naming at least two substitute POAs in case your primary option dies or is unavailable for whatever reason.

Further to that, I recommend you do a review of your POA situation every three years because, let’s face it: Relationships change. The person you feel comfortable naming as your POA today may not be the same person you want in that position three years from now. A periodic review will ensure your wishes are carried out.

Dr. Bob agrees and adds, “When we help people with their advanced healthcare directives, we typically ask them to choose three people: your top pick and two alternates.” On more than one occasion, Dr. Bob has seen a person be brought into the emergency room, and it’s quickly discovered that their first choice is unfortunately unavailable. Both he and I wouldn’t want this very thing to happen to you.

He goes on to say that some patients don’t have anyone close to them who they want to entrust these vitally important decisions to. In such cases, there are professional fiduciaries who are available to serve as your healthcare agent.

And as Dr. Bob correctly points out, we at Hsiao Law can help guide you toward the right resources for your specific situation. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns you have related to this topic. We’d be happy to help!

We at Hsiao Law can help guide you toward the right resources for your specific situation.