Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Four Things To Consider When Selecting An Agent for Your Power of Attorney for Health Care

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Starting at a blank power of attorney for health care form and confused about who to name as your agent?  If this is you, pat yourself on the back for taking control of your life and addressing this issue.  As for who to name, consider the following, which I come to from personal experience.  I was my father's power of attorney for health care in 2009 while he was dying.

First -- who do you know and trust that is good speaking with doctors and nurses;

Second -- who in your circle of family and friends is comfortable with medical terminology;

Third -- who in your life has the emotional strength to keep it together if this document comes into play -- we are not facing a sprained ankle here, but a very severe condition; and

Fourth -- who has the time to be there?  My father spent the final month of his life in a hospital, that last week in palliative care.  At the time I had a 13 month old child and my own legal practice.  Being there was not always easy, but I made it work.

No one may fit every element perfectly.  But use these points to evaluate who is best suited for the job.  Remember, don't select your first born because of birth order or your sister because she'll nag you until the day you die if you don't name here.  Select the person who is right for the job.  Trust me, I write from experience.

Thanks for reading, and remember a blog is not an attorney.  I recommend you seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your state for information specific to your situation.

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