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Who should serve as a healthcare proxy?

| Jul 21, 2021 | Estate Plan, Estate Planning |

An estate plan comprises many different parts spanning from crucial components like your will, to the people you want holding power. A healthcare proxy will serve as one of the latter, and they play an important role in your end-of-life period.

A healthcare proxy will make many difficult decisions in your stead, acting on your behalf to make medical decisions if you cannot. Thus, you want to ensure you choose the best possible person for the role.

What do healthcare proxies do?

Forbes discusses how to select a healthcare proxy. Since they hold so much responsibility, you want to check their strength of character thoroughly before making your choice. This person should successfully handle difficult situations, such as speaking up on your behalf if complications arise during surgery, if you are too ill, or if you end up mentally incapacitated or unconscious.

Traits shared among good healthcare proxies

Good healthcare proxy candidates often share similar traits. Some of the most common include:

  • A clear understanding of how you wish your healthcare matters to get handled
  • A full understanding of their responsibilities as a healthcare proxy and an informed agreement to carry these responsibilities out
  • The ability to ask questions to your medical team and argue against any attempted medical decisions that may go against your wishes
  • No conflicting interests with you, such as being an heir or beneficiary of an estate in which you are also a beneficiary
  • Being a trustworthy person that will carry out and abide by your beliefs, even if they conflict

It is also important that they live in close physical proximity in case they need to respond to an emergency. You may also wish to consult your legal team when making a decision on your healthcare proxy, as they will likely have valuable input to give.

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