There may come a time due to an accident or illness when you cannot make health care decisions for yourself. As part of your estate planning, you need to appoint someone who can step in and make medical decisions on your behalf. They are known as a health care proxy.
What should I look for in a health care proxy?
Naming the right person for the job is vital. Here are some of the things you need them to be:
- The right age: You need someone who is at least 18 years old. You do not want to name someone too old either, as they may die before you call upon them.
- A good communicator: The person will need to converse with various medical professionals. They will also need to explain their decisions to other members of your family.
- Organized: A proxy who fails to show up for meetings on time or forgets to bring relevant documents could cause delays to vital treatment.
- Patient: The role may involve considerable waiting around in medical facilities. Someone who can take such delays in their stride will be in a better mental state to make decisions than someone who paces the corridors glancing at the clock.
- Empathetic toward you: There is probably someone in your family that understands you and a few who do not. Choose someone who understand how you think.
- Happy to oblige: Being a health care proxy is a considerable responsibility. Ensure the person is happy to do it.
Nominating a health care proxy is one of the essential tasks to carry out when creating a living will. You can find out more about what else to include in a living will here.