You‘re getting older, so you’ve decided that it’s a good time to build on your basic estate plan. You want to know that you have someone there to help you if you’re ill or too sick to speak on your own behalf. To do that, it’s time to talk about a health care power of attorney.

You should know that there are multiple kinds of powers of attorney, but one that deals with your medical care alone is a health care power of attorney. The health care power of attorney is designed to give someone you trust and care about the responsibility of taking over your medical care decision-making when you can’t speak on your own behalf.

How do you choose your health care power of attorney?

It’s a process, but you should be able to choose one or two people to fulfill the role. For instance, if you have two children and one is a doctor, you may choose the child with more medical expertise to take on this role. Similarly, you may have a friend or colleague who you trust that you’d like to have fill the role.

This person should:

  • Have good communication skills
  • Live near you or be able to travel when needed
  • Have a good understanding of your health condition, the symptoms that affect you and your medical history
  • Be understanding of the treatments you’d be okay with and those that you would not want
  • Have good attention to detail

Choose someone who you trust to make the decisions you would have made yourself. Once you decide on who you’d like to take on the role, your attorney can help you draw up the correct documents.