October 07, 2022
Can a Medical Power of Attorney be Immediate? | Immediate and Springing Powers of Attorney Explained
Can a Medical Power of Attorney be Immediate? | Immediate and Springing Powers of Attorney Explained In this episode of Berry’s Bites, Chris Berry answers the question: The Financial Power of Attorney appears to be immediate or springing, versus the Medical Power of Attorney, which seems to only be springing. Is there a situation when a Medical Power of Attorney can be immediate?
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Financial power of attorney appears to be immediate or springing versus the medical power of attorney which seems to be only springing is there a situation when a medical power of attorney can be immediate.
First, we have two different types of powers of returning we have financial power of attorney and a medical attorney. So there are two types of financial attorney there’s what’s called a springing financial power of attorney and springing means you sign it but it’s not effective immediately it springs into effect and typically we have like two licensed physicians signing off to say that you’re incapacitated then the financial power of attorney would spring into effect.
I’m not a big fan of the springing financial attorney because you have to get two licensed physicians to sign off before the document will work and sometimes that could be like wrangling squirrels it could be tough it’s like another hurdle before your family would be able to step in and manage your finances and also another reason why I don’t like the springing financial power of attorney especially with married couples typically or pointing your spouse.
And so if you’re traveling or something and you need something done with the immediate financial power of attorney your spouse can actually get things done for you or let’s say you’re widowed at this point and you’re just getting up there in age and you still have the capacity you’re not incapacitated but maybe now you want one of your kids your son or daughter to help you just kind of pay your bills and that type of thing we don’t have to drag you to court or drag to licensed physicians to say you’re incapacitated.
They can just do that for you so yeah so typically what we’re doing is we’re doing an immediate financial power of attorney where typically you’re pointing your spouse first and then if not your spouse your kids versus I’m not a big fan of the springing financial power of attorney so with the financial power of attorney you do have the flexibility to be able to choose now the medical power of attorney so that medical of an attorney who’s making medical decisions has to be springing and the reason for that is it’s just by statute so the statute in Michigan in most states says that the only way a medical power attorney will be effective is it has to be springing first of all you always make your own medical decisions but if you’re incapacitated in your coma that’s when the medical power of attorney kicks in.
So unfortunately there is not a situation where the medical power of attorney can be immediate and the reason for that is the statute the Michigan statutes in most states statutes say that the medical power of attorney has to be basically a springing that always you’re going to make your own medical decisions and then only if you’re clearly incapacitated two licensed physicians signing off say you’re incapacitated only then would the medical power of attorney kick in. So medical power of attorney by statute it has to be springing meaning you’re in full control while you’re alive and well only you can make decisions you can’t delegate that but then if you’re incapacitated in your coma that’s when the medical pub attorney kicks in the financial power of attorney can be immediate or springing but I’ll tell you just in my experience and doing this for 16 years we must prefer it to be immediate for most people so financial power of attorney it’s an immediate medical power of attorney by statute it has to be springing hopefully that was helpful.