Health Care Proxies/Living Wills
Health Care Proxies
A health care proxy is someone appointed to make medical decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so yourself. This person has a durable medical power of attorney that allows them to carry out your wishes. This person should be an individual you trust and believe has your best wishes at heart.
You can name a health care proxy long before becoming incapacitated. You can also control exactly how much power they have over your care in various ways. You choose whether a doctor would need to certify you as incompetent or incapacitated before their power could come into effect, exactly how much access they have to your medical records, and which healthcare decisions are firmly off-the-table via your healthcare proxy document.
Having a health care proxy lets you have the comfort of knowing someone you trust can make complex choices about your care while understanding the nuances involved in what your preferences are. For example, your proxy can make judgement calls on whether a new treatment option would conflict with your moral beliefs beyond what is outlined on a sheet of paper. Having a health care proxy is especially helpful in situations where your religious beliefs have a big impact on your preferences.
Health care proxies work in tandem with your living will, ensuring there is never a conflict of interest in your care.
A living will clearly defines your wishes should you become incapacitated and need medical care. It can cover everything from treatment types to whether or not you would like to be resuscitated.
This document is one of the most important end-of-life planning documents you need. It serves as a directive to doctors and nurses and is what they will obey, even if you have a health care proxy that is trying to go against your wishes. Be sure to keep this document updated if you change your views.
Living wills and health care proxies are best kept as a pair. The living will draws hard lines over big decisions, and your health care proxy can help navigate the nuance of individual treatments, providers, and institutions, fitting them to your preferences.
Learn More by Contacting Us Today
If you are in the estate planning process, or assisting someone who is, and need insight on how a health care proxy and living will would work for your specific situation, call us. We offer free consolations and can answer questions you may have. We also offer low flat fee pricing on our assistance in setting up all estate planning documents, including living wills and health care proxy documents. Call us today for more information!