Who Is Legal Next of Kin for Medical Decisions

If none of these individuals are available, able, and willing to assume the role of a surrogate mother to make medical decisions when you cannot do so yourself, Florida law requires a licensed clinical social worker appointed by an ethics committee to make decisions about whether or not you will be removed from life support (in situations, to which this Decision applies). The general hierarchy is listed below. Note that a person is only allowed to act as a next of kin if they are at least 18 years old and are considered mentally capable of doing so. Each state has so-called standard laws on surrogate consent. These laws dictate who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you have not appointed a power of attorney or NOC and do not have an extended directive. An expanded policy is a legal document that sets out your desires for vital care in certain circumstances. A person you designate as an agent can assume one or all of the same roles. The difference is that the role of the power of attorney is specifically limited to what is specified in the legal form of the power of attorney created by you or your lawyer. Depending on where you live, the person you choose to make decisions on your behalf may be named as one of the following: Everplans also notes that some states allow close friends to act as close relatives when none of the above parents are available, but that`s not always the case. If you want someone who isn`t at the top of the next kin list to make decisions on your behalf during a medical crisis or after you`re away, it`s a good idea to invest in a power of attorney. By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering, and relieve caregivers of the decision-making burden in times of crisis or bereavement. They also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the decisions you want people to make on your behalf. Plan ahead and get the medical care you want at the end of life.

The power of attorney and the next of kin are not the same, although the decisions they can make may be similar depending on the circumstances. In some states, advance health care planning includes a document called Doctors` Prescriptions for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). The document can also be called Life Support Provider Orders (POLST) or Medical Orders for Life Support Treatments (MOLST). Technically, most people have a close relative, even if no one is listed on medical or other documents. But you may not want your next blood relative (as defined by your state`s laws) to be the person who makes certain decisions on your behalf. This could happen if you don`t take the time to specify your own choice. Even if you have planned cremation or any other type of service in advance, your next of kin will need to sign the final documents and implement these plans. He or she may also need to make final decisions or fill in details that are not included in your initial plan. You can probably already see the need to identify a NPC or power of attorney: Most people would prefer these types of decisions to be made by someone they know and trust.

And the need doesn`t stop at end-of-life medical care. Your NOK or POA may also be asked to make decisions regarding your final disposition. The responsibilities of the next of kin or powers of attorney depend on the preliminary planning you have made and what you determine in the associated legal forms. Once you have established a power of attorney and a notice of compliance, keep all related legal documents in a safe place. This can be in a digital or physical location or both. Your power of attorney or next of kin (NOK) may be asked to make important decisions on your behalf after your death or if you become unable to work. To make sure your wishes are respected, appoint someone you trust as your power of attorney and give them the appropriate authority to make decisions in certain circumstances. It is also useful to know when to appoint a close relative and how to do it. Your power of attorney can only make these types of decisions if they fall under the legal authority granted by your power of attorney form. For example, you can create a power of attorney form that only allows someone to make decisions based on your living will. You can also create a power of attorney form that only one person can use to make a decision about your final decision.

At the same time, you can provide a more general power of attorney form that gives someone more extensive decision-making power. Your closest relative is usually considered your closest relative through marriage or blood. For example, if you are married, your closest relative is usually your spouse. Note: This article is intended as a resource to help families. Be sure to speak to a professional to determine a next of kin or power of attorney. A POLST stays with you. If you are in a hospital or nursing home, the document will be hung near your bed. If you live at home or in a hospice, the document will be clearly visible where emergency staff or other members of the medical team can easily find it. A medical or medical power of attorney is a type of living will in which you designate a person who will make decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

In some states, this directive may also be called a continuing power of attorney for health care or an authorized representative for health care. While Next of Cousin is a relationship designation, the power of attorney is a legal designation. You can choose almost any adult you want as a power of attorney. .