Advance directives for health care are important when you are making preparations for the latter stages of your life. In many instances, people become unable to communicate before they pass away. Medical decisions may present themselves while you are in such a condition.
The purpose behind advance directives is to state your preferences regarding medical procedures as you also name someone to make decisions on your behalf if it becomes necessary.
To record your preferences regarding the use of life-support systems, you execute a document called a living will. To select someone who would be empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf, an advance directive called a durable power of attorney is utilized.
The “durable” designation allows the device to remain intact even after the incapacitation of the grantor.
You should think long and hard about your choice of a health care agent. The individual should be someone who is emotionally strong and capable of acting with a clear head under difficult circumstances.
Geography is a factor as well. If you live in Northern California, you probably don’t want to pick someone who lives in Key West, because the health care representative may have to be on hand to act quickly.
While you want an individual who is decisive and strong-willed, you need to choose an agent that understands the fact that his or her role is to act as you would if you were capable of communicating.
It is also a good idea to consider the age and health of the agent so that you can be reasonably sure that he or she will be around and fully capable of acting on your behalf if it becomes necessary.
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