Conscientious Estate Planning For Oregonians

How to choose a health care agent

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Estate Planning

In your estate plan, you will name several people to perform different duties, including a health care agent or proxy. This party will make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Doing this can prevent disputes, which are likely to happen when all your loved ones have a say when it comes to your health. That’s why it’s even recommended to give one agent the authority to make medical decisions at a time. 

Here are three factors to consider when naming a health care agent: 

Someone who knows you well

You want to name a health care proxy who knows you well. It doesn’t have to be your spouse or child, but someone close enough to understand what you do or don’t prefer. Of course, the party you choose will follow the instructions in your living will, but they should know you well enough to make the right calls when dealing with matters not spelled in the document.

Someone who can remain calm in difficult situations 

The duties of your health care agent can be complicated. They may need to make quick decisions with every detail they receive. Someone who gets easily overwhelmed may not be the most suitable party. A health care agent should be able to remain calm in a crisis. You can tell someone can do this by assessing how they handle difficult situations in their life.

Someone confident

Confidence is a crucial quality of a proxy. Your named party should be confident to ask healthcare professionals questions. Additionally, they should not be afraid to have opposing opinions from your loved ones and healthcare providers. Essentially, they can strongly advocate for you to get the right care.

It’s vital to choose the right health care agent. Learn more about your objectives and preferences to make informed decisions.