One part of estate planning is choosing someone to make medical decisions for you in case you are unable to. The person you choose for your health care agent will have the power to make decisions about the treatment you receive. It is important that you choose someone who knows your wishes and is able to carry them out. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting a health care agent.
Unless you have been chronically ill, a medical emergency could be unexpected. If you are unable to make decisions about your health, the decisions fall to your health care agent. You want to choose someone who lives within a close distance of you. This helps to ensure that crucial decisions can be made within a relatively short period of time.
Choosing a health care agent near you is not just about you, it is about him or her too. Depending on your health condition, your agent might have to spend weeks or months making decisions about your health. If your agent lives far away, he or she might be put in the position of having to stay in your city an extended period of time or traveling back and forth a lot.
Remember, the agent is responsible for making decisions and ensuring health care providers follow them. This could potentially be a daily task until medical services are no longer needed.
One of the many challenges of being a health care agent is dealing with the wishes of family members, friends, and health care staff. The agent is responsible for carrying out your wishes, and there is a chance unpopular decisions might need to be made.
It is important that the person you choose is assertive. He or she needs to be willing to stand up to anyone that wants to go against your wishes, including family and doctors.
To save time and effort, you might want to select someone as your health care agent who is also capable of managing your finances. This helps to avoid any conflicts between two different people.
If you do opt to name two different people to make health care decisions and manage your money, ensure they are two people who can get along with each other. The last thing you want is a situation in which both are having a tug-of-war about your health and care. Issues such as whether or not to pay a medical bill could balloon out of control in a battle between the two people.
Making decisions about your future can be difficult. Unfortunately, decisions like choosing a health care agent is unavoidable. By working with your estate planning attorney now, like at Brandt & Beeson PC, you can avoid possible complications later.