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He is in ICU at Swedish Hospital in Washington state. My step mother wants me to be power of attorney. She is not able to care for him or herself.

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Check with your local area on aging. They can recommend legal assistance. Ombudsman agencies are lso helpful for assist with legal resources.
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depending on what state you're in the law is different. contact an attorney. use the psych/ soc work department.
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For hospitalization purposes, their social services team should have documents that you can sign (and they and your mother can witness) for current medical decisions in their facility only.

As sedation and medications are part of ICU treatment, POA's while inpatient will be viewed with skepticism. Start with their Social Services Dept. Hopefully your father will be released soon and you can have an Elder Law Attorney make a house visit: many do as it is common for clients to be home bound but still mentally viable. As indicated above; you'll need Financial POA, Healthcare POA and a Healthcare Directive establishing your dad's wishes.
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I suggest you start by talking to the ICU social work team; they've likely encountered similar situations before.

Most seniors in the ICU are delirious, which means they are more confused than usual and don't have their full mental capacities. It would be very unusual for someone to be able to sign legal paperwork during this time.

If your father hasn't designated someone as his medical power of attorney, the medical decision-making usually defaults first to the spouse, and then to the adult children. If there are multiple adult children then the doctors may want to make sure there is consensus, especially for a major decision.

Guardianship is indeed more comprehensive, and is often used when an older person needs someone else to comprehensively manage their life and finances...often over the older person's objections. (Usually there is an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis.) You usually have to petition a court.

In short, you can probably start helping your step-mother with medical decision-making now without doing a lot of paperwork, assuming your father is too sick to make decisions and assuming you don't have other siblings who want different medical choices. (The doctors in the ICU should be used to assessing people for capacity to make medical decisions. It is decision-specific, so people might have capacity for a small decision but not a big complicated one.)

Who will take care of your father and make decisions on his behalf later is a bigger issue. The social workers may be able to advise you and then you may also want to consult with a geriatric care manager once your father is better. (They are cheaper than a lawyer and can advise re your options; you may still need a laywer eventually.)

Good luck, I hope your father is better soon.
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There are three important documents every adult should have and that includes young adults. POA for financial matters, POA patient advocate form for health care decisions and a will. 90% of Americans do not have all three and that can leave you open to all types of problems. I have written a piece on why these documents are necessary and how to obtain them. To give you an example why they are so important, a young man in 30s was in a motorcycle accident which resulted in a closed head injury. Long before this happened he put all these documents in order naming his sister POA should he become ill. Thank goodness he did that because he had to fight for a settlement because of his injuries. He received a large amount and his relatives being like a lot of people wanted $$$. His sister now watches out for him and keeps the sharks at bay with the legal right to do so. This young man had the presence of mind to know any one can need these documents at anytime.
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Agree with Gabbygirl. This is why it's so important to execute a POA and Health Care Proxy, naming agents for taking care of (1) finances and (2) medical decision-making, BEFORE someone lands in the ICU. Can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I don't want to sign that before I need it," and they never imagine that they may not be ABLE to sign it when they need it! Then you indeed are staring down the barrel of an expensive, intrusive, and lengthy guardianship proceeding. [And btw a living will usually does not confer any decision-making authority but merely states the patient's wishes for end-of-life care.]
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What your options are depend on the condition of your father. A person in ICU may be capable physically of signing a POA but he has to be competent and free of influence. As a notary, I am always very cautious of notarizing documents in a hospital. If he is on pain Meds or other drugs that can affect his judgment a notary may refuse, at least in my state, to notarize the document. Guardianship is not inexpensive but it may be your only option depending on your situation. Legal matters can be complex and tricky. You should really only accept legal advice from a licensed attorney in your father's state. Only an attorney can truly explain your legal options, the costs, and possible outcomes as well as your rights and responsibilities with respect to those options. Many attorneys have free consultations. Avvo is a website that helps people find lawyers and includes a tool to "ask a question" that lawyers can answer. But again, a lot depends on how your father is. Being in ICU gives me the impression he is likely not in a condition to sign a POA or Advance Directive.
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My husband can't walk talk or see and is blind in one eye he has his mind and I have legal guardianship as well as health care you pay dearly for this and its not fast to get if he is compadent just have a lawer help him write one that's if he wants too ICU or not it seems when you say living will you want to know what you and others are getting so there will be no probate after fine but not every sick person wants to do that let the hospital ss worker t.all to your dad if she feel he should make a livingwill get the lawer withpapers if he can sign you need wittness to sign as back up he was not forced by you to sign the health care paper is much easier and has nothing to do with finances property or money also ifhe dose not want exta means to live or he dose its best to have that in writing too and signed by him with wittness
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Contact an elder law attorney for guidance particular to your state. If you father is competent to sign legal documents you have more options that if he is not. There is a bid difference between legal guardianship and a power of attorney (both for health care and for other reasons - you may need two separate documents). The hospital social services department could also be a helpful source of information.
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Can he sign papers? If so you can print poa forms off internet. The forms have to be notarized so make sure he doesn't sign until you have notery available.
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