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Delaware Durable Power of Attorney Laws

Elder law is an important area of the law because it affects everyone sooner or later. Indeed, some of our most important health care decisions tend to come toward the end of peoples' lives, when they may be unable to make informed decisions. The durable power of attorney, therefore, allows individuals to appoint someone else to make these decisions on their behalf. Delaware durable power of attorney laws require that the appointed individual be a legal adult, have the capacity to understand this responsibility, and that the document be signed in the presence of at least two adults.

The following chart lists the main elements of Delaware's durable power of attorney laws. See Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care for more details.

Code Section 16 §2501, et seq.
Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts Grant, refuse, withdraw consent to provision of medical treatment, including right to refuse medical treatment which would extend appointer's life
Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney (1) Adult; (2) written declaration; (3) attending physician judges appointer incapable due to condition resulting from illness or injury of making decision to accept or refuse medical treatment; (4) signed by appointer or another person at his express direction and in his presence; (5) dated; (6) 2 or more adult witnesses
Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney Revocable at any time without regard to declarant's mental state or competency by (1) destruction of declaration with intent to revoke; (2) oral statement in presence of 2 persons 18 yrs. or older expressing intent to revoke; (3) written revocation signed and dated by declarant or (4) new declaration with contrary intent
Validity from State-to-State Directives of other states in compliance with the laws of that state or of Delaware are valid.
If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney Must provide continuing care and not impede the transfer of the patient to another health care provider.
Immunity for Attending Physician Physicians or nurses acting in reliance on properly executed document are presumed to be acting in good faith and there is no civil or criminal liability unless negligent

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Delaware estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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