Power of Attorney An elderly person executed a Power of Attorney designating…

Power of Attorney
An elderly person executed a Power of Attorney designating Alternate A. Additionally, a separate Medical Advance Directive and Power of Attorney has been executed naming Alternate B for medical emergencies.

In the case of a medical emergency, if Alternate A differs with Alternate B, would the medical caretakers accept Alternate B as the foremost authority to carry through and make decisions for medical purposes, or would Alternate A’s authority supercede Alternate B?

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  1. Re: Power of Attorney
    Without seeing the power of attorney this question cannot be commented upon with any precision. Powers of attorney vary and there are several options. There are other documents that, properly drafted, will work in concert; however, if not properly effected the documents may bring more problem than they resolve.

    Based on what you indicate, I suspect that the second person has an advanced medical directive and appointment of health care agent rather than a power of attorney. This generally is a preferred approach. However, individual situations vary thereby necessitating another approach.

    Generally a power of attorney does not convey the power over medical decisions although concievably such a document could be prepared. This would not be a proper approach. I strongly advise against this for several reasons.

    Given the situation that you describe, it is possible that a conflict could occur between the two designated individuals (or between the documents themselves). A conflict between the individuals could place the documents and associated legal powers into question. The effect could be that, at a crucial time, the documents may be rendered without authority either temporarily or permanently.

    In effecting these documents, my service includes a discussion of the documents and other relevant matters. I am available to come to you and meet with simultaneously with your designated individuals. Contact me should you desire assistance with this matter.

    You could also search for other similar questions and answers which I have provided on this site.

    In any event, you should contact an attorney to ensure that you have what you need and desire.

    G. Joseph Holthaus III
    Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus
    2255 Daniels Road
    Ellicott City, MD 21043

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