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Characteristics to look for when choosing a health care agent

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Not long ago, our blog featured a post explaining how to continue controlling your medical care upon incapacitation by creating advanced medical directives. Now is an ideal time to expand on the topic by discussing how to select the right agent to act on your behalf under these directives.

Many Napa, California, residents elect to have a family member serve as their designated health care agent. Others prefer to assign a trusted friend to make their medical decisions. Regardless of who you have on your shortlist of candidates, there are several attributes that you should look for in your final selection.

Choose someone who respects your wishes

One of the most critical characteristics of a good health care agent is having respect for your medical care and treatment wishes. If your candidate does not adopt a serious approach to serving as your agent, your wishes may go unfulfilled. Three more attributes to consider include:

  • Longevity: If possible, it makes the best sense to select someone in good health and younger than yourself.
  • Assertiveness: You will benefit from choosing someone that can assert your medical wishes in the face of family or physician protests.
  • Calmness: A medical crisis invites chaos, so choose a health care agent that can remain calm in chaotic circumstances.

One more thing to consider is how far away your candidates live. Having a representative who lives nearby can simplify matters for you and your family. It also imposes the least possible travel hardships on your chosen agent.

If you are preparing advance health care directives, consider learning more about estate planning in California. Doing so ensures that all documents in your plan meet your needs and remain compliant with the law.