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Heritage Tree LogoWhat Is a Healthcare Proxy?

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It is an unfortunate truth that, as we grow older, our medical needs become more and more significant. This is why it may be worth establishing healthcare plans in your estate plan. More specifically, a Medicare or Medicaid plan may not be enough, so you may want to also consider a healthcare proxy. Read on to discover the importance of a healthcare proxy and how one of the seasoned Butler County powers of attorney lawyers at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can help you establish one.

What is the importance of a healthcare proxy?

By definition, a healthcare proxy is a legal document in which you may appoint an agent to lawfully make healthcare decisions on your behalf. It is worth mentioning that a healthcare proxy is also commonly referred to as a healthcare power of attorney, a healthcare directive, or a healthcare agent. Regardless, it has your agent be summoned to make such decisions at a time when you are, unfortunately, incapable of speaking or communicating your preferences independently. And to make such decisions correctly, your agent may reference your living will as the “rule book.” This means that it is equally important to establish a valid and just living will document as it is a healthcare proxy document.

Of note, you may appoint a family member, a close friend, or otherwise an individual whom you trust as your agent. This is so long as you trust this individual enough to work closely with your healthcare team to ensure that your treatment preferences are being followed. It is common for individuals to name multiple agents to divvy up this great responsibility; or, to name agents in successive order as an extra precaution.

What other type of power of attorney should I consider establishing?

Once you ensure that your medical needs are taken care of, you must start handling your financial needs. That is, you must consider establishing a financial power of attorney. Similar to a healthcare proxy, this is a legal document in which you may grant an agent the authority to manage your finances, property, and other financial matters on your behalf.

Again, this authority becomes relevant if you, unfortunately, become incapacitated. However, unlike a healthcare proxy, you do not necessarily have to lose your ability to speak or communicate to have your financial power of attorney decide on your behalf. This is why it is all the more critical that you choose an agent whom you absolutely trust and who is undoubtedly talented in handling finances.

With so much to consider, you must not wait too long to retain the services of one of the competent Butler County estate planning attorneys. So please call Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC at your earliest possible convenience.

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