Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

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Potential pitfalls when naming a health care proxy

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Blog, Estate Planning

Selecting a health care proxy is a prudent decision that ensures the fulfillment of your medical wishes if you become unable to communicate them yourself. Naming a proxy can guarantee your well-being in an unfortunate situation.

However, there are potential pitfalls to avoid when choosing someone for this important role.

Lack of understanding

One common pitfall is not fully understanding the responsibilities of a health care proxy. Be aware that this person will make medical decisions on your behalf in certain situations. Without a clear understanding of this role, you may choose someone who is not prepared for such a responsibility.

Emotional attachment

Choosing a health care proxy based solely on emotional attachment can lead to complications. While it is natural to want someone close to you to make decisions, they may not be the best choice if they struggle to separate their emotions from medical choices. Prioritize someone who can make decisions based on your wishes and best interests.

Incompatibility with beliefs

Failure to consider the beliefs and values of your health care proxy can be problematic. If your proxy holds different views on medical treatments or end-of-life care, they may struggle to make decisions that align with your wishes. Ensure your proxy shares your values or is willing to uphold your preferences despite any personal differences.

Failure to communicate

Communication is key when appointing a health care proxy. Failing to discuss your medical preferences and expectations with your chosen proxy can lead to misunderstandings or disagreements in critical situations. Regular and open communication ensures your proxy fully understands your wishes and can advocate for them effectively.

The New York Health Care Proxy Law enables you to name someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in a worst-case scenario. This is a right that you should capitalize on, but it is important to keep the potential pitfalls in mind along the way.