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    If you decide to stop dialysis treatment, you or your surrogate may want to make sure the following items are in order:
    • Your will
    • Signed advance directive (living will, durable healthcare power of attorney or healthcare proxy) complying with your state law
    • A durable power of attorney, complying with your state law, naming someone to act on your behalf on all matters other than medical (e.g., legal, financial, banking and business matters). Your power of attorney must be a durable one in order to stay in effect even if you become unable to make your own decisions or if you die.
    • An inventory, including the location of your bank, brokerage and other financial accounts, stock and bond holdings, real estate and business records, medical and other insurance policies, pension plans and other legal papers
    • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of your attorney, accountant, family members and other loved ones, friends and business associates who should be notified of your death or who may have information that will be helpful in dealing with estate affairs
    • A statement about your preference for funeral/memorial services, burial or cremation instructions and decisions about organ and tissue donation
    • Written, video- or audio-taped message to family members and other loved ones, business associates and friends
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    The role and responsibilities of a medical surrogate, as well as the types of decisions the surrogate may make, may vary from state to state, depending on the laws of that state. Generally, the surrogate must follow your wishes. For more information about naming a surrogate and about the laws in your state, you may speak with an attorney or the social worker at your unit. To obtain copies of the forms used in your state, you may contact your local or state bar association.
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    You can name someone (such as a spouse, adult child or close friend) to make medical decisions for you, such as stopping dialysis, in case you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself. This is done by filling out a form called a healthcare proxy or a durable healthcare power of attorney. The person you name to make medical decisions for you is called a surrogate. It is important to make sure the person is willing to act on your behalf and that he or she knows your short- and long-term goals, values and what treatments you would or would not want to have if you were not able to speak for yourself. It is helpful if you complete a form called a treatment-specific living will, which will give your surrogate clear directions about your wishes regarding stopping dialysis and/or other medical treatments. 
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    AEverplans answered
    A power of attorney (POA) is someone you appoint to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. Since your power of attorney potentially will be handling your legal and financial affairs, you’ll want to choose someone who either has some experience in these fields or has the necessary qualities to handle the decisions that may fall to him or her.

    A power of attorney should be a person with the following characteristics:
    • Attention to detail
    • An understanding of his or her duties, and a commitment to taking those duties seriously
    • An understanding of finances and perhaps business
    • The ability to collaborate with attorneys, accountants and other parties, if necessary
    In addition, a power of attorney should be someone you trust, who you believe understands your values and will act in your best financial and legal interest.
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    AEverplans answered
    Many legal professionals encourage naming a durable power of attorney rather than a springing power of attorney. That's because if the terms of incompetence are not specified in a springing power of attorney, a formal proceeding to determine incompetence must be held. The person you named as your springing power of attorney may not be able to act until this process is complete. 
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    AEverplans answered
    A springing power of attorney (POA) becomes effective upon a specific date, event or condition. Usually, this “condition” is a declaration of mental incompetence by a doctor. Because the POA “springs” into effect upon a declaration of incompetence, it is important to state in the springing POA paperwork what qualifies as incompetence -- and who must make the declaration. This person is usually your doctor.

    Because a springing power of attorney does not go into effect immediately, it can limit the agent's access to your finances. This can create less of a chance that the person you name as your power of attorney will commit fraud against you or steal from you.
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    AEverplans answered
    If a power of attorney (POA) is not named, a potential agent may apply to the court to be named your guardian or conservator. Compared to naming a POA, guardianship proceedings can be time consuming, expensive and stressful. In addition, there is the risk that the court may appoint someone as a guardian or conservator who you might not have chosen or preferred.
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    AEverplans answered
    Many people establish a durable power of attorney (DPOA) when they get older and start having difficulty managing their finances. By appointing a power of attorney (POA), he or she can handle paying bills, managing bank accounts, overseeing investments and preparing and filing tax returns on your behalf. These things may become increasingly important as you age and are no longer able to handle these duties.
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    AEverplans answered
    A non-durable power of attorney goes into effect as soon as the document is signed. It expires if/when you are declared mentally incompetent or die, whichever comes first. You may revoke a non-durable power of attorney at any time.
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    AEverplans answered
    Whether a durable power of attorney (POA) is better than a non-durable power of attorney depends on your goals. You might want a non-durable POA if you cannot be present to sign or execute certain documents or dealings, and need someone with legal authority to act on your behalf. However, if you should become incapacitated or incompetent before the specific transaction is to occur, a non-durable power of attorney will expire -- and the agent will not be able to act on your behalf. For this reason, many legal professionals encourage naming a durable power of attorney rather than a non-durable power of attorney.