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What to consider when choosing a health care proxy

While a lot of estate planning focuses on the nuts and bolts of leaving assets to loved ones, it can also include matters related to end of life care. This is why it is important to give due considerations to legal documents like health care directives. A health care directive names an individual who will take on the responsibility of making health care decisions in the event that the document’s creator becomes unable to communicate his or her wishes.

When choosing someone to act as a health care proxy, an individual must consider a number of factors. Of course, the individual chosen should be trustworthy, especially considering he or she might literally have an individual’s life in his or her hands. This individual may have to make challenging decisions in accordance with your wishes, not their own, so they also need to be steadfast and assertive. The named individual should also live relatively close so that they can act quickly if called upon.

There are other factors to consider, too. The age of a proxy can have an effect on whether he or she will still be around when needed. Also, an individual should think carefully before naming a family member to serve in this capacity. This is because it can cause a sharp division in the family when these health care decisions need to be made, and feelings can be hurt when one person is chosen over the other.

As one can see, these matters are very delicate but vitally important. Some individuals choose to forego a health care directive and instead spell out their health care wishes in their living will. What is important is to find a legal strategy that works for the individual involved. This is where the assistance of a qualified legal professional who is experienced in estate planning may prove beneficial.