While planning your estate, consider not only your final desires, but your end-of-life wishes. Because you may not possess the capacity to voice your desires, you need to name a health care proxy to speak your preferences.
Forbes describes qualities to look for in a health care proxy. Be sure to keep the following in mind as you plan your estate.
Someone who honors your wishes
Do you have someone in your life who can honor your end-of-life wishes even if your desires do not line up with your proxy’s values? Your candidates should know how to remove themselves from the equation and put you first, fully respecting the medical care you want (or do not want) to receive.
Someone who already knows what you want
While it is smart to put your end-of-life wishes to paper, verbally sharing them with your health care proxy is a good idea. As uncomfortable of a subject as it may be, sit with your health care proxy, friends and family and let them know the care you want should you ever end up in palliative or critical care. That way, you can keep confusion to a minimum regarding your desired medical treatment, which can eliminate a lot of stress, confusion and frustration for those closest to you.
Someone who fights for you
It is good to have a health care proxy who asks questions of the medical staff and fights for you when necessary. Doctors may want to perform tests or recommend specific procedures to put you on the road to recovery. Such tests and procedures may go against your wishes, or they may be downright questionable. Either way, your proxy should stand up for you.
Give careful consideration to whom you select as your health care proxy. This person may very well hold your life in her or his hands.