As you set up your estate plan, something that you should think about is who you’d like to have as your health care power of attorney (otherwise known as your health care agent or medical power of attorney). Choosing the right person for this job is essential because they will be making decisions about your medical care when you cannot do so yourself.
This power of attorney doesn’t necessarily work only in old age. If you have a health care power of attorney and get into a car crash today, then they may be responsible for making health care decisions for you if you aren’t conscious, for example.
Knowing that this person will have such significant control over your health in emergencies and at the end of your life, you must choose someone who understands your wishes and who is able to understand the information and explanations provided by medical providers.
Who should you choose to be your health care power of attorney?
It’s a good idea to choose someone who lives near to you and who has your best interests at heart. You also want to choose someone who is willing to abide by your wishes about your health care. For example, if you don’t want life-sustaining medical treatment, then the person should be willing to speak up for you and ask for your wishes to be respected.
It’s not always easy to choose a health care power of attorney, but if you need one, your attorney can help you consider different options and give you support as you choose the person or people you’ll trust with your care.