Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world has caused anxiety and a deep introspection of one’s own fragile mortality, and rightfully so. Quarantine has given us all time to ponder the meaning of life, our true desires for the long term, and our end-of-life choices. I think its an apt time to discuss a beneficial legal tool known as the Medical Power of Attorney (POA) or commonly referred to as a Healthcare Proxy.
Medical Power of Attorney: A legal document used to name someone you trust to act on your behalf in making medical decisions in the event that you become ill or otherwise incapable.
Those with serious illnesses or underlying health conditions are highly recommended to maintain an up-to-date medical power of attorney. However, every adult should make a power of attorney to protect themselves against accidents, emergencies, upcoming surgeries, and medical procedures.
Naming an Agent
Some states call this individual your agent, proxy, or representative. The law requires agents to always act according to your instructions stated in your power of attorney or otherwise communicated to them.
Agents must be at least 18 years old and be able to follow your directions concisely. Your document will detail any additional rules required in your state. For instance, some states prohibit you from appointing your physician or an employee of your healthcare provider as your agent.
It is imperative that you have a high level of trust in the person you appoint as your agent. The agent should be organized and good at communicating with your loved ones and the medical team. Also, please remember that if you appoint an agent that is older or in poor health you are risking that they will not be able to serve as your agent. We recommend naming multiple individuals as backup agents in your power of attorney in case this occurs.
Further, it is vital that you discuss your expectations and medical preferences with your agent directly and honestly. This conversation will ensure that they understand what will be required of them and will be prepared to act. The circumstances surrounding your incapacity may be highly demanding, emotionally draining, and stressful for your agent. Consequently, this is why selecting an appropriate agent is crucial for giving you peace of mind and ensuring that your preferences will be followed correctly.
As mentioned previously, it is possible that your first choice agent will be unavailable to serve. For instance, they may have become ill or have passed away. Other times, an agent may simply decide that they no longer wish to serve or are not qualified enough to act appropriately under the circumstances.
Whatever the situation may be, naming successor agents will provide a contingency plan if your first choice cannot or will not serve. Your power of attorney should clearly identify each agent and successor agent by their full names and contact information in order to avoid any possible mix up concerning their identity and location.
You will also have the opportunity to name a “guardian.” This is the person who will be responsible for managing your personal affairs if you become incapacitated. It is recommended that you appoint a guardian who knows you well and who you are confident will act in your best interests. Remember, if you do not, then you may end up with a court-appointed guardian who acts more in their interest than your own. Why would you want to take that chance?
Finally, you have the option of naming your primary physician as well as your preferences regarding organ donation and burial or cremation.
It is imperative that you read through the whole document before signing. You need to know and understand every aspect of your medical power of attorney, as the power you are giving your agent can drastically affect your life and well being. Additionally, certain sections of the document require that you initial next to your preferences in order to prove that you have read them. After reading through the entire document, you will sign and date when you are in the presence of the appropriate witnesses.
Each state has different witnessing requirements, but we recommend that you use two witnesses and a notary public regardless of your state’s rules. This will provide you with extra protection in the event there is ever a dispute regarding your preferences.
In the event that you need to revoke your agent’s power to make decisions, we recommend using a formal revocation of power of attorney form. Keep in mind that you can simply sign a new power of attorney if you want to change or add agents, which will also revoke your prior power of attorney.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?