Contact Us Today! (972) 712-1515

"The Blog"

A New Kind of Power of Attorney for Changing Times

Posted by Darryl V. Pratt | May 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

A New Kind of Power of Attorney for Changing Times


A Healthcare Power of Attorney is an important document for everyone to have. This document gives someone, termed an agent, the power to act on behalf of another, the principal. The principal executes the Healthcare Power of Attorney and gives the agent the power to make medical decisions in the event that the principal is unable to make their own health care decisions.

What provisions should be included in the Healthcare Power of Attorney? How long should this document be? Some practitioners prefer a longer document, one that spells out what kind of specific powers are given to the agent, and to some extent what kind of care the principal would desire in various circumstances. For example, if long-term care was needed, would the principal prefer to receive that care in their home to the extent possible, or would the principal prefer an institutional setting? Does the agent have authority to consent to psychiatric treatment?

However, some clients might prefer a shorter Healthcare Power of Attorney. This type of Power of Attorney simply names the agent and has a few other administrative provisions, such as those regarding durability or a HIPAA provision. Clients may rationalize that saying less is more, that having the trusted agent make the decision based on the circumstances at hand is best. For example, a principal may have expressed in his Healthcare Power of Attorney that he does not give the agent the authority to consent to treatment that keeps the principal alive by use of a ventilator. However, this type of treatment is common for COVID-19 treatment – the ventilator is used to keep the patient breathing and the patient can be perfectly healthy after the virus has passed. Did the principal really mean that he wouldn't want the ventilator treatment for COVID-19?

Also, what if a client doesn't know what powers he would want to grant to an agent, or know his wishes regarding certain types of care? Or, what if the Healthcare Power of Attorney must be executed in haste? A Healthcare Power of Attorney that doesn't go into specifics with regard to specific powers or desired care can be executed more quickly, and allow the trusted agent to make those decisions when needed.

While ElderDocx, ElderCounsel's elder law document drafting system, will still generate the longer Healthcare Power of Attorney, there will be a new document available – a shorter, streamlined Healthcare Power of Attorney document. This new document, including:

  • Why a shorter document can be better for clients.
  • A guide for clients to help them work through making difficult decisions at their own pace.
  • Is a living will still necessary?


You have invested a lot of time in making your business a success, and it is difficult to think about relinquishing ownership or control of it. Nevertheless, planning is critical in creating a lasting legacy for your family. We can help you put a plan in place that helps you successfully pass your business on to the next generation and ensures that you have a financially secure retirement. Contact our office today at (972) 712-1515 to set up a meeting to discuss this timely topic. 

About the Author

Darryl V. Pratt

With almost twenty-five (25) of experience as a dual-licensed Attorney and Certified Public Accountant, Darryl V. Pratt has practiced law in all areas of corporate and business law, non-profit law, estate planning, probate, guardianship, asset protection planning, bankruptcy (Chapters 7, 13 and 11), real estate, and taxation.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

DISCLAIMER Pratt Law Group, PLLC (PLG) has prepared the material on this web site, for informational purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Further, the material on this site does not create, and receipt does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The information here is not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. No person should act or rely on any information in this site without seeking the advice of an attorney. Members of the law firm of PLG are licensed to practice in various courts and jurisdictions; attorneys are specifically licensed to practice in state courts that are enumerated on their individual attorney profiles. We also have affiliations in particular cases with attorneys licensed in additional states. PLG does not offer any guarantee of case results. Although we are extremely proud of our excellent track record, past success does not guarantee success in any new or future case or client matter. This web site is considered advertising by the State Bar of Texas under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Only those attorneys who state they are Board Certified in their profiles on this website are Board Certified. All other attorneys are not Board Certified. Darryl V. Pratt is the attorney responsible for this site. The principal office of PLG is 2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 505, Frisco, Texas 75034. Please note that the transmission of an e-mail inquiry itself does not create an attorney-client relationship. PLG cannot serve as your counsel in any matter unless you and our firm expressly agree in writing that we serve as your attorney. You should also be aware that the Statute of Limitations (the deadline imposed by law within which you may bring a lawsuit) may have expired or may severely limit the time remaining for you to file any potential claims you may have. Time is of the essence. If you believe you have a possible legal case, it is important that you seek out legal advice as soon as possible.