Choosing a Health Care agent will help ensure you receive the care you want in the event you become incapacitated. A Health Care Proxy is a document that allows you to appoint a person you trust as your health care agent authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
Your Health Care agent will advocate for the treatment and care you want in the moments when you're not able to do so yourself. As a result, this person should be someone you trust, who knows your wishes about medical treatment and is willing to take responsibility to ensure your wishes are followed.
Because the documents involved with naming a Health Care agent can vary and can be complex, it's important to have the guidance and assistance of the experienced Elder Law attorneys at Cona Elder Law. Our attorneys bring decades of experience helping people like you create well-drafted advance directives and Health Care Proxy documents.
A Living Will is a special document where you set forth your wishes regarding end-of-life care. The Living Will works together with the Health Care Proxy and the agent named must be the same in both documents. You make your own medical care decisions known in the Living Will; your Health Care Agent simply sees to it that your wishes are carried out by their authority under the Health Care Proxy.
The choice of a health care agent is extremely important, as they may be your only voice should you be unable to make your wishes known. A health care agent can be any adult, such as a loved one, friend or family member 18 years old or older. You should also designate an alternate agent in the event your primary agent is unavailable or unable to act.
Your agent should be someone you have reasonably close, fairly regular contact with. This way, if your desires change, you will be able to inform him/her of your new wishes.
Once a doctor has determined you are unable to make decisions about your health care, your agent can speak on your behalf. Situations in which this may occur include:
Whenever you're choosing a proxy make sure to consider:
Although these topics are difficult and may be uncomfortable, you should discuss issues surrounding your preferences including:
Other pertinent topics include issues surrounding organ donation. This information will be included on your Health Care Proxy.
When it comes to drafting a Health Care Proxy, the attorneys at Cona Elder Law will be with you every step of the way. We have been recognized as the top Elder Law and Estate Planning Law firm on Long Island. Since 1998, Cona Elder Law has helped families with a range of Elder Law issues, including special needs planning, Medicaid planning, estate planning and more.
Contact us at 631.619.2533 to schedule a consultation.