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Deciding Who to Assign as Your Health Care Agents

When deciding on health care agents (those individuals who will make your health care decisions in the event of incapacity), there are several factors to consider.  First, you should think about whether the individual would be willing to serve in this role.  You do not want to list someone as your agent who will not be willing to make hard decisions on your behalf.  You should also consider whether the individual will make the decisions you would want instead of making the decisions that they would want.  This individual should be willing to fulfill your wishes with regards to health care decisions even if they personally do not agree with them.  A final factor is whether the individual will serve as your advocate.  You want someone to be your health care agent who is willing to question the advice of doctors if it does not seem correct, and be willing to obtain second opinions.

In my experience, it is best to have only one agent serve at a time.  When there is more than one decision maker, there is the possibility of disagreement.  This could lead to a delay in medical assistance as well as court involvement.  The purpose of having a health care agent is to have a health care decision made in a quick, expeditious manner without court involvement.  I recommend to clients that they discuss their decision on health care agent appointment with their families.  It is best for family to know ahead of time who will be the decision maker.  It is also a way for you to explain to your family why you have chosen only one person at a time to act and the order of those individuals authorized to act.

MHAbout Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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