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durable healthcare power of attorney

appoints an agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal and does not become effective until the principal becomes incapacitated


Most states require that living wills and durable healthcare powers be:

(i) in writing
(ii) signed by testator another at his direction
(iii) witnessed by two adult witnesses (most states provide agent can't be witness; some states don't require any witnesses for a durable healthcare power)


Even when a durable healthcare power is not properly witnessed, the agent may have authority to act

under a state's "family consent" statute which permit a close family member to act as a surrogate decisionmaker for a person who has not properly designated an agent under the state's durable healthcare power statute.