My sister was taking care of our fathers medical matters. She has since died and dad was her next of kin. He is disabled so I am getting a durable power of attorney so that I can take care of her estate. Do I need a separate power of attorney for his medical matters?
Yes you will need a medical power of attorney if your father cannot make his own healthcare decisions. You cannot get a power of attorney for a dead person. You would need to become your sister’s executor if she had a will. She may have named someone else as her executor.
Since your sister died a power of attorney is of no effect. You will need to open an estate if she had property that needs to be administered and passed on to her heirs. If she had a will, it will name the person to carry out her wishes as an executor. If she did not have a will you can apply to administer the estate as the personal representative. Your father's situation is completely separate. You should first check and see if his power of attorney for your sister included a successor in case should could no longer do the job. If there is no successor then you will probably need both a durable power of attorney to deal with financial issues and a medical power of attorney to deal with healthcare decisions. Unfortunately, if your father is no longer legally competent he cannot execute any new powers of attorney and you will probably need to file with the court for appointment as his guardian and conservator. Get a probate attorney!
What has traditionally been referred to as a durable power of attorney is insufficient as authority for healthcare decisions. Since 2014, Iowa law has provided for a "statutory" power of attorney which is basically what we have long considered a durable power of attorney. In any case, the answer to your question is No. A durable power of attorney does not also act as a medical power of attorney. You will need a separate healthcare power of attorney, an example of which is available on the Iowa State Bar Association website.
DISCLAIMER: This is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by my posting this content.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline