Can a Nursing Home Be a Power of Attorney?

By Teo Spengler

You may use a power of attorney to give a trusted individual authority to make decisions for you. With a durable medical power of attorney, you appoint someone to make medical decisions for you after you are no longer competent. In some states, your agent cannot be the owner or an employee of a residential care facility already serving you.

Medical Power of Attorney

The person you name in a durable medical power of attorney will be able to make critical health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated, including selecting doctors, determining treatment and choosing a nursing home facility. You should select someone in whom you have the utmost confidence and discuss your health care preferences with her.

State Limitations

States set different limitations on whom you can name as a health care agent in a power of attorney. Some states prevent you from selecting anyone who is currently responsible for meeting your health care needs, which includes your doctors or nurses, as well as owners or employees of a residential care facility where you currently reside. Someone who is currently providing your health or residential care may not be able to make an independent analysis of your best treatment options.

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New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney


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The ability to consent to or refuse medical treatment is a fundamental right afforded to you under the law. If you lose your ability to competently make decisions regarding your health, the burden and stresses involved in determining treatment options often falls to your family members or health care providers. Although not required, a properly drafted durable power of attorney for health care can ensure that you receive medical treatment in accordance with your wishes when you become unable or unwilling to make these decisions yourself.

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A power of attorney allows one person to act on behalf of another person in various matters, including health or finances. You may give another person, known as your agent or attorney-in-fact, power of attorney as long as you're mentally competent. You must draft a power of attorney document that meets the legal requirements in your state in order to give your agent authority.

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