A healthcare proxy is someone who can make medical decisions for you when you are unable to. If you are incapacitated in some way, you cannot discuss what should be done with doctors and other medical professionals. Your proxy steps in for you here and makes it possible to proceed with treatment. A Woodland Hills power of attorney lawyer can help you choose a proxy and get all of the necessary paperwork completed.
What Can a Healthcare Proxy Do?
When you choose a healthcare proxy, or give someone medical power of attorney over you, you are saying that this is the person who will make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to choose what kind of healthcare you want to receive. If you are in a coma and doctors give your family multiple treatment options to choose from, a proxy can step in and decide what needs to be done.
A good candidate for a healthcare proxy is someone who you know will look out for your best interests. It is also important that they would be cool under pressure since families can sometimes fight in situations like these. A good proxy can rise above the noise and handle everything.
What Happens If You Do Not Have a Healthcare Proxy?
When you do not have a designated healthcare proxy, your family decides what kind of treatment you receive. If there is some kind of disagreement between your family members, this can cause a delay in you getting any kind of treatment. Sometimes these arguments need to be resolved in court.
When you have a healthcare proxy, your family can give their input, but they cannot prevent treatment or tie things up in court. There is less risk of you suffering more harm because your treatment is delayed.
Is It Possible to Change Your Healthcare Proxy?
You should also remember to check in on your estate plan and things like your healthcare proxy every once in a while. Life circumstances can change, and that could necessitate a change in your proxy. Did you choose your spouse, but now you’re divorced? You’ll probably want to give someone else medical power of attorney as soon as you can.
Do I Still Need a Living Will?
In California, you can combine your selection of a healthcare proxy with a living will in your advance health care directive. This form essentially covers everything relating to your medical care, whether you get incapacitated temporarily and need someone to make decisions for you or you are approaching the end of your life and you have preferences about what kinds of treatments to receive. You can even use this form to consent to the donation of your organs.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are ready to take on any part of the estate planning process, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman and schedule an appointment with our team. We can help you prepare for just about anything.