Who should decide if I can no longer do it myself? Which medical measures do I want in an emergency – and which not? Three documents can regulate these and other questions in advance: the health care proxy, the care directive and the living will.
What is a Power of Attorney for?
A power of attorney allows someone you trust to manage your affairs on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. If such a power of attorney exists, no legal guardian needs to be appointed. A health care proxy can relate to individual areas or to all legal matters. A notarial deed is not required for a power of attorney to be valid. Nevertheless, this step can be useful so that the power of attorney cannot be doubted later. It is also possible to have the signature notarized by the supervisory authority. If the power of attorney also applies to banking transactions, it may be advisable to go to the bank in person with the person you want to give it to. The Central Pension Register of the Federal Chamber of Notaries also offers an opportunity to officially register the power of attorney. Here you can report the authorization and the name of the authorized person. What does a guardianship do?
A care directive does not regulate social care, but rather legal representation. Because if you have not granted a power of attorney and are no longer able to make decisions, the court will appoint a legal guardian. This person should then act on your behalf and follow your wishes as far as possible. With a power of attorney, you can determine in advance who should take over the care in an emergency. The court is bound by this choice, provided your well-being is not endangered. You can also stipulate in the decree who should under no circumstances be your supervisor. You can also make content-related specifications: For example, you can record which habits should be respected or whether you would prefer a nursing home or care at home.
You can also combine a guardianship directive with a power of attorney. The disposition then applies in the event that the health care proxy should not be effective.
What does a living will regulate?
Regardless of whether you issue a power of attorney, you can also make precautionary arrangements for medical treatment. The so-called living will sets out in writing which measures you agree to and which you reject. In an emergency, the doctor must then check to what extent your specifications apply to the current situation. If your wishes for the situation are clearly stated in the decree, the doctors can act in accordance with the decree without further consent.
Your doctor can advise you on the possible contents of a living will. In addition, he or she can attest that you are capable of giving consent at the time of creation. However, a living will is also valid without such a medical confirmation.
Creating pension documents: What do I have to consider?
All three documents serve as a precautionary measure: anyone who creates them must be legally competent and capable of giving consent at this point in time so that they are effective. Certification by a notary is not absolutely necessary, but can be useful. Templates from the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection help you to keep an eye on the various aspects and to comply with the formal requirements. You should also make sure that the documents can be found in an emergency – so relatives and other confidants should know about it. It is also possible to register with the central pension register.