Selecting an agent for your durable power of attorney for health is not easy. This is a person that you expect to make important decisions regarding your health, and you want him or her to act to do what you would have done were you able to act. For this reason, it is easy to use trust as the most or only criteria, which is not bad. However, there are other practical matters that you should also consider. For example, it is best to choose someone who:
Is Likely To Outlive You
Although nobody knows how long he or she will live, there are reasonable indications that you may use to approximate a person's longevity. For example, it is reasonable to expect that your spouse will outlive your parents, or that your children will outlive you. It is not just about age, however, and it makes sense to project that a healthy spouse will outlive an offspring struggling with cancer. In short, choose somebody who isn't likely to pass away before you.
Lives Close to You
However much you trust your agent, he or she won't help you much if he or she lives thousands of miles from you. You need somebody who resided nearby, somebody who can be there immediately when his or her decision is needed. Remember, a health care agent's work is not just about jetting in, signing a document and going back to his or her place. His or her presence may be required for a prolonged duration or multiple times.
Therefore, if the number one person in your list of trustworthy friends works in a research station in Alaska, and you live in New Mexico, then it would be a great idea to consider the second person in the list.
Can Also Be Your Financial Agent
Suppose you are sick and unable to decide your course of treatment. There is an experimental treatment technique that your healthcare agent believes is viable. The treatment, which is not covered by your medical insurance, is expensive, and your financial agent is reluctant to release the funds. How would you expect the situation to resolve itself? To avoid such conflicts, it would be ideal if you let one person be both your health and financial agent.
Therefore, an ideal health care agent should be someone you trust, lives close to you, is likely to outlive you and is also great with finances. If you can't get the ideal person, however, then prioritize your needs and get somebody with the closest qualities.
For more information, you may want to consult with a lawyer from Butts, Schneider & Butts LLP or a similar firm.