A Nebraska (NE) Medical Power of Attorney form enables you to appoint a trusted adult to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so. This person, the agent, representative, or the “attorney in fact,” is legally bound to act in your best interest.
A Nebraska Medical Power of Attorney is also known as:
- Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Nebraska Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Laws: Sections 3401 to 3432 of Chapter 30 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes govern the creation of Medical Powers of Attorney.
In addition to a Medical Power of Attorney, the following documents can help provide a clear plan in unfortunate circumstances:
- Living Will: A living will is a document that dictates your end-of-life treatment when you cannot communicate them. It informs medical professionals of your decisions regarding resuscitation, organ donation, tube feeding, etc.
- Nebraska Power of Attorney: This form lets you pick an agent to handle your financial affairs, personal and business, and other non-medical decisions.
How to Fill in a Medical Power of Attorney in Nebraska
Follow these steps to ensure your MPOA form is legally binding and meets the requirements stated in Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-3408:
Step 1: Choose an agent
When you cannot communicate your healthcare decisions, your agent or representative (called an “attorney in fact” in legal terminology) will make them for you.
Who should you choose as an agent?
You can choose any person who is 19 years of age or older to be your agent. It is advisable to pick an agent you trust to understand and act according to your beliefs.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-3402
Who can’t be your agent?
Your agent cannot be any of the following:
- Your attending physician
- An individual who is unrelated to you by blood, marriage, or adoption that your attending physician employs
- A person who isn’t related to you that owns, operates, or is employed by your healthcare provider
- An individual who isn’t related to you and currently serves as an agent for ten or more people.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statute 30-3406
Can you have more than one agent?
In Nebraska, you can pick a successor agent. A successor agent steps in when your primary cannot (or fails to) effectively fulfill their duties.
Step 2: Specify what healthcare decisions your agent can make
When creating your Medical Power of Attorney, thoroughly consider the powers you are granting your agent.
Can you limit your agent’s powers?
Yes. You can limit your agent’s powers by noting down limitations or instructions in the designated field in your NE Medical Power of Attorney form.
These instructions could be “I do not want my organs to be donated after death.” or “I do not want to be artificial nutrition or hydration.”
If no limitations are listed, your agent will handle almost all your healthcare decisions.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-3420
What is your agent legally unable to do?
Your agent is legally bound to act in your best interest and cannot withdraw or withhold healthcare decisions about:
- Routine care to maintain patient comfort
- Provision of hydration and nutrition
- Life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition or hydration
Your agent can only object to any of the above decisions if you have specifically mentioned such in your form.
When can your agent start making decisions for you?
Your agent can make decisions for you after the attending physician has determined you are incapable of doing so.
The attending physician must declare your incapacity in writing and its cause and nature and add it to your medical record.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-3411
Step 3: Sign the form
Does a Medical Power of Attorney need to be notarized in Idaho?
It would be best if you witnessed you signing your Medical Power of Attorney form or acknowledging your signature on the document. The latter applies in cases where you physically cannot sign.
The witnesses must sign a declaration that states that they are of sound mind and not under any influence or in distress.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-3404
Who can’t be a witness?
The following cannot act as a witness:
- Your agent
- Your spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, or presumptive heir
- Your attending physician
- Romantic or dating partner
- An employee of your life insurance or health insurance provider
A maximum of one witness can be an employee or administrator of a healthcare provider.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statute 30-3405
How long is your Medical Power of Attorney effective in Nebraska?
Your Medical Power of Attorney is effective until your death unless you revoke it or all agents withdraw.
Relevant law: ID Code §39-4510
How to Revoke a Nebraska Medical Power of Attorney
You can revoke your MPOA at any time by:
- Telling your primary doctor (attending physician)
- Notifying a healthcare provider who consequently informs the attending physician
- Directly telling your agent, who must then notify the attending physician
You can communicate your intent to revoke in any manner. For example, if you cannot speak, you can write it down.
Relevant law: Nebraska Revised Statute 30-3420