How to Notarize a Medical Power of Attorney
If you have someone who is not capable of making medical decisions on their own, or if you think that someone will at some point become incapable of making medical decisions on their own (such as if they are about to go under anesthesia for surgery), then you might need something called a medical power of attorney. What does a medical power of attorney do? Does a medical power of attorney document need to be notarized? What is the process to notarize a medical power of attorney? Take a look at a few important pieces of information below.
What Does a Medical Power of Attorney Mean?
When someone is talking about a power of attorney, or POA, they are talking about a legal document that grants either someone or some organization the legal authority to make decisions for someone else. In this case, medical power of attorney provides someone with the power to make medical decisions for someone else.
In some cases, a medical power of attorney might also be called a healthcare proxy or an advance directive. This form gives one person the power to appoint someone else to handle medical decisions for them if they are not able to make these decisions on their own.
When obtaining medical power of attorney, the person giving the power to someone else is called the grantor or the principal. The person getting the power is called the agent. This is an important document because it allows one person to make decisions for someone else in a variety of situations, including:
- If the person is a minor
- the person goes under anesthesia and cannot make decisions on their own
- the person is neurologically incapacitated, such as following a serious accident or in cases of dementia
These are just a few of the many situations where it might be necessary to obtain medical power of attorney. Importantly, medical power of attorney is usually specified if there is not an obvious family member (such as a spouse or parent) who can make decisions. There are a few steps involved in appointing a medical power of attorney.
Does a Medical Power of Attorney Need to be Notarized?
Yes. A medical power of attorney always has to be signed in front of a licensed notary public. If the document is not notarized, then it is not a legally binding document. The job of the notary public is to act as a representative of the government of the state. This professional will verify the identities of all parties involved to ensure that everyone is entering into the agreement, in this case, the medical power of attorney, of their own volition. The notary public will also witness the signing as it takes place.
It can be a challenge to locate a physical notary to notarize a medical power of attorney. For example, they might need to meet that person on their own schedule, and they could have access to someone’s private affairs; however, there is now an easier way to get a medical power of attorney notarized.
Medical POA Notarization Process
In the past, hunting down a physical medical notary and asking them to handle the signing was the only option. Now, it is possible to work with a notary online to get a medical power of attorney notarized through OneNotary. A few steps involved include:
- First, take a look at the schedules of the available notaries and select a time that works
- Check for an email and follow the instructions, including uploading the documents involved in the notary process ahead of time
- Answer a few questions to verify the identities of the people involved in the medical power of attorney
- Log in and meet the medical notary at the requested and scheduled time for the notary session
- Download the notarized and completed medical power of attorney after the appointment is done
There are a lot of benefits that come with notarizing a medical power of attorney online. First, there is no need to waste time driving all over town to find someone who can notarize the document. Second, the process is usually quicker than meeting a physical notary. Finally, the process is also less invasive. These are just a few of the reasons why people are deciding to get their medical power of attorney notarized online through OneNotary.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few common questions that people have about a healthcare power of attorney document. These include:
Are there other names that could also mean a medical power of attorney?
Yes. Some of the most common names that people use for a medical power of attorney include advance directives, which specify decisions that the individual might want in certain medical situations, and healthcare proxy, which is another name for the agent in a medical power of attorney.
How does someone pick a medical power of attorney?
This is an entirely personal decision; however, this person is usually a family member. In a lot of situations, the first healthcare power of attorney is a spouse; however, if a spouse is not available, then people might choose a child or a parent. Ultimately, this is something that each person has to decide for themselves.
Is a medical power of attorney a legally binding document?
If the document is notarized, then a medical power of attorney is legally binding.