A healthcare proxy is someone that you select who can step in for you and make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. If you do not have a proxy, you could end up in a situation where your family members fight over what kinds of treatment you are receiving. These arguments can waste valuable time, especially if they need to be settled in court. Our Washtenaw County advance healthcare directive attorneys can help you choose a healthcare proxy and avoid all of this.
When Do I Need a Healthcare Proxy?
A healthcare proxy is there to make medical decisions for you when you cannot. If you are in a coma or have just experienced a traumatic brain injury, you do not have the capacity to make your own decisions. Sometimes doctors give multiple treatment options and it can be difficult to pick one if your family ends up squabbling over their choices. A healthcare proxy takes the information you have given them and does their best to make the medical decision that you would make.
This differs a bit from your end-of-life care planning, but the principle is the same. You want to make as many preparations as you can and make it clear what your wishes are when it comes to your healthcare. This can save your family some stress and make it easier for you to get the care you need without delay.
How Do I Choose a Healthcare Proxy?
When choosing a healthcare proxy, you are obviously going to want to choose someone close to you. Many people choose a spouse, adult child, or a close friend. These are the people who are most likely to know you well and the best people to advocate for you if needed.
It is also a good idea to consider whether the person you choose will be reliable enough to take on this responsibility. Will they be able to devote time to you and your family if you get incapacitated in some way? Can they get to your bedside if needed and will they make that a priority? It is also wise to pick someone who can rise above the noise if your family starts to argue about treatments. Your proxy needs to be a steady advocate for you even when things get a bit chaotic.
Can I Change My Healthcare Proxy Later?
Yes, nothing is preventing you from changing your healthcare proxy later on. In fact, it is usually a good idea to change your proxy if your relationship with that person changes. If you picked your spouse as a proxy and then get divorced, you should probably update your paperwork and choose someone else.
Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers
If you have any questions about power of attorney, estate planning, or healthcare proxies, we can answer them. Contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra and schedule a consultation. We will help you make plans that can protect your interests and make things less stressful for your loved ones.