Deciding who to name as your health care agent is a big decision, as it could impact you and your loved ones in the future. Fortunately, when you take all the right factors into consideration, it's easier to narrow your list with the idea of making a confident decision that will put your mind at ease.
The first thing you should do is list out anyone and everyone who initially sounds like a good candidate. You'll only choose one person, but it never hurts to start with a large list.
From there, consider these five important factors:
- Proximity: You don't have to appoint a health care agent who lives locally, but it never hurts to do so. If this person isn't located in close proximity to where you receive treatment, they should be willing and able to travel in the event that they are needed.
- Assertiveness: You name a health care agent with the idea that this person will follow your wishes in regards to the type of medical treatment you receive. If a person isn't assertive, they may be shy about disagreeing with medical professionals, as well as your family and friends.
- Potential conflicts: There's no way of knowing what could happen if you become seriously ill or injured, but you should still think about this when naming a health care agent. Try your best to name someone who won't upset others, thus resulting in a power struggle.
- Health and age: Don't just think about your current health and age. Do so with your health care agent as well. If this person is many years older than you, there's a good chance they won't be around later in your life.
- The person you named as your financial agent: Some people are okay with the idea of naming the same person as both their financial and health care agent. Others name a different person for each task, which can lead to conflicts.
Naming a health care agent is a big decision, so don't rush through the process. As you consider all your options, as well as the responsibilities of this role, you'll find yourself closing in on the perfect choice.
Review our website and read our past blog posts for more information and advice related to estate planning in Maryland.