What is Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA)?

A healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) is a document that legally authorizes someone to make health-related decisions on someone else's behalf.

How Does Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) Work?

Individuals sometimes become too unwell or unfit to make decisions regarding their healthcare treatments. To prepare for this possibility, many people appoint another individual to act as their healthcare power of attorney. The HPCA empowers a specific individual (for example, a close friend or relative) to communicate with healthcare personnel regarding another's treatments when that person is incapacitated or unable to communicate.

For example, suppose Bob is advancing in age and has expressed concern about becoming increasingly confused. Bob asks his son Jack to act as his HCPA. Jack signs the HPCA authorizing Jack to communicate with healthcare professionals and make healthcare decisions on Bob's behalf if Bob becomes unable to do so.

Why Does Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) Matter?

It is important that those who act as HCPAs are extremely familiar with the individual's health situation and wishes as far as treatment. This helps them make the most effective decisions on the individual's behalf and express the individual's treatment wishes as accurately as possible.

Ask an Expert about Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA)

All of our content is verified for accuracy by Paul Tracy and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA).

Be the first to ask a question

If you have a question about Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA), then please ask Paul.

Ask a question
Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

Verified Content You Can Trust
verified   Certified Expertsverified   5,000+ Research Pagesverified   5+ Million Users