The Importance Of A Healthcare Proxy

When people say they don’t need an estate plan because they don’t have enough money, they simply don’t understand all that an estate plan can do for them. Granted, there is a clear argument to be made saying that everyone needs an estate plan. 

To take this one step further, aspects of an estate plan don’t directly correlate with money or finances. One such example of this is a healthcare proxy. This document allows you to choose someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot do so independently. Like all aspects of your estate plan, think of this document that should be created and updated throughout your life. 

The Basics

Take the time you need to choose someone you trust and respect—but do so with a slight sense of urgency. Without a healthcare proxy, your wishes may be disregarded simply because people won’t know what they are. When you choose someone, let them know to ensure they are comfortable handling the responsibility of this position. It may be a difficult conversation, but you will have true peace of mind knowing that you have someone in place to assist you should the time ever come.

Many people may not have to think too long because they are married and will choose their spouse. Though this is entirely normal and expected, it does highlight the importance of updating your estate plan and other documents, such as your healthcare proxy. The reason being is that your marriage may end. It is all the worse if it ends negatively because that is the person you trust when you need it the most. 

Some spouses eventually develop very healthy relationships after a divorce. You can have a former spouse be your healthcare proxy, but that is a decision you need to arrive at on your own.

Advanced Directives

Your healthcare proxy has all the formalities of a will, and there are many things you can do with it. Nothing demonstrates this more than when it comes to advanced directives. This outlines the degree to which you wish to receive medical treatment if you cannot communicate your wishes. 

Some people choose to have it on their person or nearby if they are not ambulatory or confined to a bed. First responders will likely still administer CPR and other lifesaving measures until they physically see an advanced directive telling them otherwise. 

And if you choose not to have it on you, keep it in a safe or a fire-proof container. Let your healthcare proxy know where it is.

Andrea L. Gamalski Attorney & Counselor at Law

If you want true peace of mind, contact Andrea L. Gamalski for a free consultation. Estate planning is your ability to achieve it. We will help build the estate plan that fits your life and your unique needs through empathy, care, and concern.

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Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

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