One of the documents in your estate plan portfolio is an “advance healthcare directive” or “healthcare power of attorney.” This is the document where you name an agent to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated. You also have the option of giving your agent some guidance about your wishes.
How do I choose a healthcare agent?
Generally, the financial documents of your estate plan are going to have the same people listed (successor trustee, executor, agent for financial power of attorney, etc.). This is because these functions are all closely related, so it is convenient and logical to name the same people.
However, very often, you might list different people for your healthcare agent nominations. The reason for this is that this is a completely different role. Just because someone is good with managing money does not mean they are good with healthcare decisions.
The most important quality you should look for in a healthcare agent is the ability and willingness to carry out your wishes. Health care decisions, especially end of life decisions, can often be difficult for family members to make. Not everyone will be willing or able (emotionally) to honor your last wishes, especially if they have moral disagreements about your choices. For this reason, it is very important you choose someone who you know will make the right decision for you (and who will resist pressure from others to ignore your wishes).
If you're not sure whom to name, you might want to talk to your family members about your wishes, ask them what they think, and try to find out who would be the best fit.
Helix Law Firm can help with estate planning
An advance healthcare directive is just one part of your overall estate plan, but an important one. We can draft this document, and any other estate planning documents you need, according to your wishes and unique family circumstances.
If you're interested in learning more, please call us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a free consultation.