Many people have been contacting their estate planning lawyers in light of the recent pandemic to discuss DNRs. This is an understandable request given how many people have faced significant health crises as a result of a COVID diagnosis. A health care power of attorney and a DNR may be terms that are used interchangeably but they are not necessarily the same thing.

A health care power of attorney is the legal document that allows you to designate someone else to make health care decisions for you. If you are unable to communicate, your health care agent is able to make these decisions on your behalf, but you are eligible to go back to making these decisions for yourself once you are able to communicate. Every state has very specific laws regarding health care powers of attorney.

For example, New Hampshire allows durable power of attorney for both health care and a living will, meaning that the living will directs the agent in making decisions, but the agent makes the final health care decisions. If you have specific requests around whether or not you want to be resuscitated, it is important to discuss these options with an experienced and dedicated estate planning lawyer in New Hampshire.

When you have specific wishes about your care, you should document this so that your chosen agents can take action with your wishes in mind. A New Hampshire estate planner can help you.

An attorney can help guide you through the process of creating these important documents and tell you more about what to expect.