Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

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How to relay your medical preferences in a health care proxy

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Elder Law, Long-term Care Planning

A health care proxy is an arrangement where you can appoint another person to make medical decisions on your behalf during specific situations. This person is your health care agent, someone who will help enforce your wishes and preferences when you are unable to make decisions regarding your health or medical needs.

Anyone in your life could be your health care agent if they are eligible for the role. However, not everyone may have the capacity to stand by your instructions, especially when you are in a coma or enter a vegetative state. Fortunately, there are ways you can relay directives before these situations happen. When setting up a health care proxy, consider taking the following measures:

  • Establish what you truly want by thoroughly deliberating your priorities and principles. Some people may find it challenging to think about these issues, but it could be essential if you are making end-of-life preparations. Being clear about what treatments you want to refuse and willing to receive could help if you unexpectedly become unable to express them yourself.
  • Share your preferences and other instructions with people you trust. Having this conversation could be difficult for your family members or friends, but these people might be the only ones who would uphold your wishes. Your agent can be the person to enforce your instructions, but informing other people can help support what you genuinely want.
  • Speak to a health care provider who can enable the arrangement when necessary. In addition to choosing an agent, you can inform the provider about your health care proxy. The provider, your agent, and other family members can keep a copy of your form, which can be helpful during emergencies.

Other methods to solidify your medical preferences can also be relevant based on your circumstances.

Planning for your and your family’s welfare

End-of-life matters can be challenging to navigate, especially if you are incapacitated and your family members have no idea what you would want. In these scenarios, arrangements, such as health care proxies, can be practical. In the long run, planning and preparing these setups can benefit your welfare and those you love.