Power of Attorney Reminder
Q. Is a power of attorney still effective after a patientâ€™s death? I was told that a woman whose husband died was not allowed to get a copy of his medical record. She had his power of attorney, but the hospital told her that the power of attorney died with him. Is that true?
A. A power of attorney is only effective while the individual is living. When an individual dies, his or her legal representative is the executor of the individualâ€™s estate, if one was named in the individualâ€™s will. If there is no executor, state law generally establishes a priority order for next of kin who may manage the patientâ€™s estate. Usually, this includes the decedentâ€™s spouse (if married at the time of death), adult children, parents, the decedentâ€™s adult brothers and/or sisters, and nieces and/or nephews, if there are no closer relatives.