While it can be unpleasant to think about the end of your life, doing so is an essential part of the estate planning process. Along with deciding how you would like your assets to be handled after you are gone, you must also consider the type of health care you desire should you be incapacitated by illness or injury.
This involves naming a medical power of attorney to act on your behalf when you are no longer able. Choosing the right person is crucial, as you want to rest assured that your selection is up to the very difficult task. Here are a few criteria to look for when selecting a power of attorney.
An ability to put personal feelings aside
It can be difficult to serve as medical power of attorney when your beliefs counter that of the person you are representing. However, this is an essential part of the process, as whoever you choose must act on your behalf. This entails a person who is willing to honor your instructions without letting their own personal views get in the way of that.
An understanding of your health care wants and desires
In addition to being able to put their beliefs aside, the person you choose to act as your medical power of attorney must explicitly understand what you want. There are many decisions that must be made at the end of a person’s life. You will need to decide whether you want to be resuscitated, what types of medications can be administered, whether you would like medical staff to use breathing machines, etc. It is crucial that you communicate this information to your representative, in addition to creating an advanced health care directive.
A willingness to speak up to medical professionals and family
If your medical staff and family question your wishes when it comes to end-of-life care, your representative will be there to communicate them directly. This can be intimidating, especially when conversing with medical staff. The person you choose must be able to withstand pressure from medical providers as well as family, who are likely to have questions and concerns.