Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a Colorado Health Care Power of Attorney) is a legal document that enables an individual (referred to as the “Principal”) to appoint another person or an organization to act on one’s behalf to manage his or her medical affairs if the Principal is unable to do so. The person or organization appointed is referred to as an “Attorney-in-Fact” or “Agent.”

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney is much broader than a Living Will.  It enables your Agent to speak for you concerning any form of medical treatment, including both terminal conditions and routine medical procedures and treatment. Your Colorado Medical Power of Attorney may be as specific or as general as you wish.  However, the more detailed information you provide in the document, the more knowledge medical professionals will have concerning how you wish to be treated medically.

Without a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney in place at the time of one’s incapacity or incompetence, a legal and public proceeding may be required to have one appointed as the Guardian to handle the exact same matters as an Agent appointed in a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney document.  In essence, a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney helps maintain family harmony by avoiding the expense of litigation and understanding the wishes of the Principal, in advance.

Who Can Establish a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

Any competent adult who is eighteen years of age and older can establish a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney.

When Does a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Become Effective

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately upon properly executing the document.

When Does a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Expire

Unless the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney has a specific date or condition for expiration, the document expires upon the Principal’s passing.

How is a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Properly Executed

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney does not require any witnesses or a notary public’s signature.  However, the coloradoetrust.com document provides for two witnesses and a notary public to help prevent any challenges to the document, and if needed, to comply with state statutes in other jurisdictions.

Why Have a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney allows one to designate who handles one’s medical care, instead of having to gather a consensus among your family members.  As mentioned previously, it also helps avoid a potentially costly, public and time-consuming legal proceeding.

Where Should One Store a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

The Principal should notify the Agent of his or her designation and store the document in a safe and easily accessible location where the Agent could quickly locate it if needed.  It is important not to store the document in a safe deposit box as the bank will not be open at night, on holidays and possibly on weekends.  It can be very beneficial to provide a copy to one’s medical providers so they can make the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney a part of the Principal’s medical record.  In addition, a copy of the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney should be provided to the hospital staff when the Principal is admitted for medical treatment.

Does a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Limit a Principal’s Rights

A Colorado Medical Power of Attorney does not affect a Principal’s rights to make any decisions.  An Agent merely is authorized to act along with the Principal, pursuant to the terms of the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney document.  Only a court, through a Guardianship legal proceeding, can strip away a Principal’s rights.

What is a Successor Agent

A successor Agent is simply an individual who would serve as an Agent if the previous choice for Agent is unable to serve due to death, incapacity, resignation or refusal to accept the office of Agent.  If one is unable or unwilling to serve for any reason, the next individual in line pursuant to the terms of the document becomes the Agent.

To avoid the potential of a Guardianship proceeding, it is important to designate a successor Agent in case a designated Agent is unable or unwilling to serve as an Agent when needed.

Who Should Be Named as an Agent or Successor Agent of a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

The pool of agents should include a competent and trustworthy individual who is at least 21 years old.  Frequently, people choose a spouse, a sibling or a trusted friend.  The Principal should seek the permission of potential candidate before naming them as an Agent or successor Agent.

How Many Agents Can One Have

While it may be simpler if only one person acts as your Agent at any given time, you may have more than one Agent acting at any time.  It is advisable the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney to provide for successor agents in the event a person named in the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney refuses or is unable to act for any reason.

Can a Principal Revoke or Terminate a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

As long as the Principal has capacity, he or she can revoke or terminate the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney at any time.  It is best for the Principal to notify the Agent of the revocation or termination in writing, as well as any institution that was aware of the Agent’s authority under the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney.

Under Colorado law, a spouse’s appointment as an Agent is automatically terminated upon divorce.  As long as the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney has a successor agent, the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney will remain in effect.

When Does a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Expire

Unless the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney has a specific date or condition for expiration, the document expires upon the Principal’s passing.

Is a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney Valid in Other States

As long as the Colorado Medical Power of Attorney was valid when executed

The content of this website is for informational purposes only.  As such, it should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. It is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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