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Choosing a health care agent

As you consider your estate planning needs and your emergency and end-of-life care preferences, it is very likely that you may decide to name a health care agent. Such a person acts on your behalf, making medical choices that align with your wishes. Depending on the nature of your wishes, some of those close to you may find it difficult to act as your health care agent, so be sure you choose your health care agent carefully.

The person you choose must truly possess the ability to make tough decisions and follow your wishes, even in the face of potential opposition. This is especially true if you have family members who may disagree and challenge your wishes or place pressure on the health care agent to act in a certain way.

It is also wise to consider some practical constraints to acting as a health care agent. A person who lives far away from you or is in poor health may not be a wise choice. It is wise to choose a health care agent who lives near you and will probably remain living long enough to serve your needs when the time comes. It might prove counterproductive to name someone as your health care agent who is elderly or likely to pass away before you do.

Choosing a health care agent is not a simple task, but it is also not one you have to undertake alone. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of estate planning law to guide you through this process and choose a health care agent that understands your needs and has the strength of character to serve you faithfully.

Source: FindLaw, "Selecting Your Health Care Agent," accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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