With a large aging population, more and more adults are finding themselves in precarious medical and legal positions. Even with legal documents like advance directives or living wills, you might find yourself being asked to be named the agent for someone that you love and care about in their healthcare power of attorney.
A healthcare power of attorney is a document that designates the person in charge of someone’s healthcare if they are no longer competent or able to decide for themselves. This is an immense responsibility and should be carefully considered before agreeing. Before you agree to be named as the agent in someone’s healthcare power of attorney, here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
- Am I able to make stressful decisions? If you are the type of person who struggles over small decisions, you might struggle to be put in this situation. The agent in a healthcare power of attorney may need to make many important decisions, often with some pushback from medical staff or even family members. You need to be prepared to make decisions on behalf of another person while honoring their wishes.
- Will I be close enough to be of assistance? Even if you would make a good agent for a close loved one, it will be difficult to do so if you live far from them. Medical care is often time-sensitive, and being far away might make your input difficult or impossible to get when needed.
- How do I feel about the decision to pull life support? This is one of the most, or perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself. Many people struggle internally with this question, but it is one that you need to roleplay in your mind repeatedly to determine if you could honestly honor the person’s wishes in that situation.
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before becoming an agent named in someone’s healthcare power of attorney. To learn more, please contact us at the Law Office of Melissa Stewart, formerly Groff Law Firm, today.