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How to choose your health care agent

| Feb 20, 2019 | Advance Health Care Directives |

It can be hard to know who to trust in this life. When it comes to your health and healthcare, figuring out who to trust can become even more difficult. This means choosing a health care agent may be one of the most challenging decisions of your life.

Your health care agent is responsible for making medical decisions if you are unable to or otherwise incapacitated. This means they will have to make difficult and critical decisions about your health and life. It is incredibly important that you select someone you can depend on. But how can you know who is the best choice?

What should you look for?

Here are a few factors you may want to consider when making the important decision of selecting a health care agent, sometimes called a proxy or power of attorney.

  • Assertiveness – a health care agent needs to be able to advocate for you and ensure your wishes are upheld
  • Relationship – not only with you, but with your family, a person who does not have an agreeable relationship with your family may be less successful in advocating for your wishes
  • Living situation – someone who lives nearby may be a more effective health care agent
  • Age and health – you may not want to choose someone who could die before or while carrying out their duties

These are just a few of the main factors you may want to consider before ultimately deciding on a health care agent. In addition, you do not want to select a doctor as your healthcare agent, or have multiple agents.

What happens next?

Once you have decided who is best for the job, there are a few more steps you will need to take. There are certain forms you will have to sign in order to give this person legal power. You can speak with an attorney who has experience in estate planning and they can direct you through the next steps.

It is also important to inform the person you have chosen about your decision, so they know what is expected of them. You will also want to inform your family members and healthcare providers who you have chosen.

Picking the person who will make these types of important decisions is difficult, but may be necessary for your well-being and the well-being of your family and loved ones. Do not hesitate to start thinking about your health and health care agent.

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