What is a Healthcare Proxy?

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Although it’s not a pleasant topic, it’s essential to consider what would happen if one were incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. Understandably, many individuals value having a voice in their healthcare decisions, so appointing a healthcare proxy during estate planning is vital. These individuals will decide on your behalf when you can no longer make your own healthcare choices. The advance healthcare directive form is an essential legal document. As such, you should ensure you understand what it entails before singing. Please continue reading to learn the functions of a healthcare proxy and how a proficient Montgomery County Advance Healthcare Directive Attorney can help you make the right decisions.  

What are the benefits of appointing a healthcare proxy?

During your estate planning, you can appoint someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend, to make health care decisions if you lose the ability to decide for yourself. There are various benefits to appointing a healthcare proxy. However, the primary advantage is that you can ensure that healthcare providers follow your exact wishes regarding your treatment. Another advantage is that your agent can decide how your wishes apply to your medical condition changes. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict what will happen. However, appointing someone you trust to comply with your wishes and make decisions on your behalf is crucial.

When you appoint a healthcare proxy, providers such as hospitals, doctors, and nurses must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own. When you’re estate planning, you can grant your agent as much or as little authority as you want. You can leave instructions stipulating that you want your agent to make all healthcare decisions on your behalf or only certain ones.

What is an advance directive?

While they share similarities, a healthcare proxy differs from an advance directive. A healthcare proxy is a trusted individual who will be responsible for speaking on your behalf in your absence. However, with an advance directive, your decisions regarding medical intervention and end-of-life treatment are clearly stated in a legally binding document rather than a living person. The most significant advantage of a healthcare proxy is that they are much more flexible regarding your medical needs as they arise, as health issues can always change.

Ultimately, deciding who you want to appoint as your healthcare proxy and what decisions you want to include in your advance directive can be difficult as they are huge decisions. However, it’s in your best interest to enlist the legal assistance of a trusted attorney from the legal team at JD Katz, who can help you take the necessary steps to safeguard your medical care decisions.