You feel good about your estate plan. You accounted for all your heirs, benefactors and assets, but have you chosen a health care proxy?
If you become incapacitated and unable to express your medical decisions, your health care proxy voices your desires. Learn how to choose the right person for this vital role.
Choose a responsible proxy
If considering adult children to act as your proxy, choose the most responsible child. Health care proxies hold lives in their hands, so they need the psychological fortitude to ask the right questions and honor your desires. With that in mind, you may feel more comfortable picking someone outside your family, such as a friend or even a professional, such as a legal advocate. Choose a younger proxy, so the person does not have to worry as much about physical and cognitive limitations should the time come to step into the role in the years ahead.
Consider care management agencies
Maybe you do not have family or friends whom you feel could act as your proxy. If not, look into a care management agency to become your proxy. With this option, do your research into all the fees and costs associated with using an agency.
Share copies of your health care proxy
When you select your proxy, share your decision and all associated documents with your family. That way, your proxy can prepare for the role or step down if she or he feels unprepared. Further, let your family know why you selected your proxy, to reduce the chances of anyone experiencing hurt feelings during a time when you cannot explain yourself.
Leave no estate planning decision unexplored. Health care proxies help bring peace of mind during unfortunate medical situations.