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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Difference Between Living Will & Durable Power of Attorney
 

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Does a Power of Attorney Need Both Signatures?

A power of attorney allows another person to step into your shoes to make medical or financial decisions for you. The rules for creating a power-of-attorney document vary among states, but all jurisdictions require your signature and some also require the signature of the person you have appointed as your agent.

Automatic Power of Attorney Due to Health

You can't assume that a spouse or family member will automatically be able to act in your stead if you become incapacitated. However, you can confer this authority with a durable power of attorney created according to state law. If you set up a springing durable power of attorney, it "springs" into existence automatically if and when you become incapacitated.

Kansas Statute on Power of Attorney

There are many tasks that you must do personally because of their legal or medical significance. For example, no one else can register your vehicle for you or sign your name to legal documents without formal permission from you. This formal permission is documented by a power of attorney, authorized by Article 6 of Chapter 58 of the Kansas statutes.

Power of Attorney

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