The Importance Of Creating A Health Care Proxy
What Is A Health Care Proxy?
A Health Care Proxy is a legal document in which an individual appoints a trusted appointee called a Healthcare Agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the patient, should the patient become incapacitated. The Health Care Proxy is an important document in any estate planning.
The Benefits Of A Health Care Proxy
The benefit of having a Health Care Proxy in place in advance of incapacitation is that you, the planner, maintain control over your healthcare by selecting the person whom you trust to make difficult healthcare decisions consistent with your wishes that you have had an opportunity to discuss with the agent.
You can select the powers that the health care agent will have through your Health Care Proxy. Some of the powers are as follows:
* admission to a skilled nursing facility
* application of artificial life support
* be allowed the right to have death occur naturally
* pain-relieving or other treatment
The ability to change Health Care Agents, as well as, selecting successor Health Care Agents should your first choice be unable to act. Further, a Living Will can be attached to the document outlining your expressed wishes for your healthcare. Living Wills are no legally binding in Massachusetts but act as a guide for any agent to use to make a decision for you.
Alternatives To A Health Care Proxy
A Guardianship is the only alternative if a Health Care Proxy if not in place. Guardianships require petitioning the Probate Court to be appointed. The person petitioning the Court may not be the same person that the incapacitated person would want to have control of their healthcare. Court proceedings are expensive, time-consuming, and requiring a Guardian to submit reports and adhere to legal requirements that the proposed Guardian may not have any knowledge of a Guardian’s responsibilities.
Compare being able to personally select the person that will act with your wishes in mind at minimal cost against a court-appointed person who may not act according to pre-discussed wishes for health care decisions with significant expenses and legal requirements.
PLAN AHEAD BY GETTING A HEALTH CARE PROXY IF YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.
Contact Attorney Bucklin Today!
If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your own Health Care Proxy, Will, Trust, or where to begin the Estate Planning process, please reach out to Attorney Andrew Bucklin at 781-632-8675 or contact him directly via our contact form!