Does a Medical Power of Attorney Expire if I Get Married?
By Teo Spengler
Updated March 30, 2020
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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.
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.
Teo Spengler earned a JD from U.C. Berkeley Law School. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an MA and an MFA in English/writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.