D. and I drafted our Health Care Power of Attorney documents today. Our engagement isn’t going to be frightfully long, but we’ve been living together for a while and believe we should cover our butts in case of an emergency. You never know, we could get in a dreadful car accident or catch the bird flu while traveling across the country, and we would like to have each other at the hospital making decisions. Honestly, I think a Health Care Power of Attorney is a good thing to have in general (whether you’re married or not), so there isn’t any confusion or power struggle when you’re laid up in the hospital.

Also, in many states, a Health Care Power of Attorney is one of the acceptable documents for establishing domestic partner status.

There are lots of templates available on the internet, and you don’t *need* an attorney to draft one. (By all means, consult an attorney if you have any questions, but an attorney is not required.)