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When planning for incapacity in Vermont, a durable power of attorney allows you to name another person or persons to sign your name and perform acts on your behalf. This person is called your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”
When planning for incapacity any individual over 18 years of age who is a resident of the state in which it is created and who is legally competent can create a power of attorney.
Your agent presents the fully-executed power of attorney document to the other party involved in the transaction and signs documents on your behalf. Your agent signs his or her own name, followed by the words “Attorney in Fact for Bob Jones”.
In Vermont, an Advance Health Care Directive took the place of two older documents, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Living Will. It incorporates the provisions of those two documents and is a more powerful document than the old Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
With this form, health care providers are expressly authorized to answer questions posed by the designees and openly discuss your condition, treatment, test results, prognosis, and all other information pertinent to your health care, even if you are fully competent to ask questions and discuss your medical condition.
Prior to 2006, Vermont law allowed you to appoint a medical agent using a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Although some of these documents may still be valid, our current law provides for execution of an Advance Health Care Directive.
A Living Will in Vermont informs others of your preferred medical treatment should you become permanently unconscious, terminally ill, or otherwise unable to make or communicate decisions regarding treatment. Many states have instituted living will laws to protect a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment.