When it comes to making important decisions about your health care, it's important to understand the difference between a Power of Attorney (POA) and a Health Care Proxy (HCP). Both documents allow someone else to make decisions on your behalf, but Skip to main content

When it comes to making important decisions about your health care, it’s important to understand the difference between a Power of Attorney (POA) and a Health Care Proxy (HCP). Both documents allow someone else to make decisions on your behalf, but they are not interchangeable and have different purposes.

A POA is a legal document that grants someone else the authority to make financial and legal decisions for you if you become incapacitated. This can include paying bills, managing investments, and selling property. A POA can also be used to make decisions about your medical care, but this is not its primary purpose.

A HCP, on the other hand, is specifically designed to give someone else the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. This can include deciding on treatments, medications, and end-of-life care. A HCP is also known as a “living will” or “advance directive.”

So, does a POA override a HCP? The short answer is no. A POA is not a substitute for a HCP and vice versa. Each document serves a different purpose and has a different scope of authority. It’s possible to have both a POA and a HCP, and in fact, it’s recommended to have both in case of an emergency.

It is important to choose someone you trust as your agent for both documents. And you should also discuss your wishes with them and make sure they understand what you want.

In summary, while a Power of Attorney (POA) and a Health Care Proxy (HCP) are both legal documents that allow someone else to make decisions on your behalf, they are not interchangeable and have different purposes. A POA grants someone else the authority to make financial and legal decisions for you if you become incapacitated, while a HCP is specifically designed to give someone else the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. It is important to have both documents, and choose someone you trust as your agent and discuss your wishes with them.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

Author: Marlon O. Brammer

Marlon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Brammer, PLLC, where he helps small business owners, real estate investors, and families in Florida, protect their assets and grow generational wealth.

Marlon O. Brammer

Author Marlon O. Brammer

Marlon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Brammer, PLLC, where he helps small business owners, real estate investors, and families in Florida, protect their assets and grow generational wealth.

More posts by Marlon O. Brammer
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