Health care decisions may become necessary when you reach an advanced age, and you may not be able to communicate your own choices. For this reason it is important to choose a decision-maker in advance when you are planning your estate.
This is done through the execution of a document called a durable power of attorney for health care.
This is a choice that you should make very carefully. The first person that comes to mind may in fact not be the best option for a number of different reasons.
Let’s take a look at the qualities that you should consider when you are choosing a health care decision maker.
Diplomatic & Decisive
In most cases the decision maker will not be acting in a vacuum. Family members will weigh in, and they could have contrasting viewpoints. The health care agent should certainly be diplomatic and open to hearing input, but in the end he or she must be decisive enough to make firm decisions.
Ready, Willing & Able
If you are 65 years of age you probably don’t want to choose someone who is 10 years your senior when you are drawing up your durable power of attorney. The person that you select must be alive and well if he or she is called to duty.
It is also important to ensure that the individual that you would like to see serving this role is actually willing to accept the responsibility.
Close Enough To Act Quickly
Geography is a factor. If it is at all possible you should select someone who is in close proximity geographically so he or she could act quickly should the need arise.