Simply put, a healthcare proxy is someone who you empower to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated. You need to fill out official documents, like a healthcare power of attorney, and ensure that everything is legally binding. A power of attorney lawyer from our firm can help you with that and every other part of your estate plan.
Why Do I Need a Healthcare Proxy?
You need a healthcare proxy because you may be incapacitated at some point, unable to make decisions for yourself. There could be multiple treatment options to choose from or surgeries to consent to. If you are, let’s say, in a coma, how can you handle these things?
You can’t, so your healthcare proxy can handle these decisions for you. They can choose your healthcare provider, what treatments you receive, and where you receive them. So you need to be sure that this is a person that you can trust, someone who is going to have your best interests in mind.
What Happens When I Don’t Have a Healthcare Proxy?
If you do not have a healthcare proxy, your family might end up fighting about your treatments. Maybe one family member doesn’t like the hospital you’re in, so they want you to be moved elsewhere. Maybe your loved ones cannot agree that you should go through with a prescribed surgery. In some situations, these conflicts can even lead to court battles. This could cost you valuable time and make it harder for you to get the treatment that you need.
When you have a proxy, that puts a stop to any infighting. They are in charge now. Your loved ones can voice their concerns, but the final decisions all come down to the person you selected. They have to do what they can to ensure that your wishes are followed as accurately as possible.
Can I Change My Healthcare Proxy?
You can change your healthcare proxy at any time. If you had your spouse as your proxy and you get divorced, it’s probably a good idea to get a new healthcare proxy. You want your proxy to make you a priority, so if you have a falling out with them it’s probably wise to choose a new one no matter what their relationship to you was.
You can also name an alternate proxy. If something happens and your proxy is unable to fulfill their duties, you have a backup who can help protect your interests and make sure that your wishes are not ignored.
Talk to Our Estate Planning Lawyers
Picking out a healthcare proxy that you can depend on is important, so do not delay just because you’re not a big fan of filling out paperwork. Contact the Lauterbach Law Firm today and schedule an appointment with our estate planning lawyers. We’ll help you with your healthcare power of attorney and anything else that you need.