Does a Medical Power of Attorney Expire if I Get Married?

By Teo Spengler

Neither a marriage nor a power or attorney necessarily last for life, and neither automatically affects the other's viability. A medical power of attorney is a legal document granting a trusted person the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can, but need not, name a spouse to this important role.

Medical Power of Attorney

Even if you are healthy today, the time may come when you are not competent to make medical decisions for yourself. You can prepare for this possibility by creating a medical power of attorney, a legal document appointing someone you trust to make those decisions for you. You can get the legal forms, sometimes called POA forms, from the state court system, your attorney or an online legal document provider.

POA Authority: Your Call

The person writing up a medical POA can limit the authority granted, even setting out specific guidelines for future care. But it is at least as important to select a health care agent who is available to discuss your wishes with you now and who can be trusted to faithfully execute them when the time comes.

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Terminating a Medical POA

A medical POA terminates automatically when the person who made it dies, but other life events such as marriage or the birth of children do not affect it. You are free to cancel the POA at any time for any reason, however, as long as you are competent.

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New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney



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Power of Attorney Legal Forms for Alabama

A power of attorney allows one person, called the attorney-in-fact, to perform legal acts on behalf of another. It is normally used when the person granting the power, known as the principal, anticipates becoming unconscious, mentally incompetent or unable to communicate, and therefore unable to manage his own health care or financial affairs. Alabama's power of attorney law is based on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Only one form is necessary to authorize power of attorney in Alabama.

North Dakota Power of Attorney Laws

In North Dakota, you have the option of creating a power of attorney, or POA, to give another person the authority to act on your behalf when it comes to financial matters. These financial matters could include anything from that can access your bank accounts, who can pay bills or who can purchase or sell property. Under North Dakota law, the authority you grant may be as broad or as specific as you like, and you always have the option of revoking this authority at any time.

How to Supersede a Medical Power of Attorney

A power of attorney, or POA, for medical purposes allows you to authorize a friend or relative to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. The health care instructions themselves are detailed in a living will, which specifies what treatments you do or do not want. The person who holds the medical POA, called the agent, is required to act in good faith when carrying out your wishes. For example, if you want to be taken off life support machines at the end of life, a statement to that effect in a living will requires your agent and health care professionals to honor those directives in almost all circumstances. However, the medical POA can be superseded and the power of your agent overridden in a few situations.

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