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Your health care agent must be selected very carefully

One of the most important decisions that you have to make about your estate plan doesn't have anything to do with your assets. You will need to select a health care agent. This designation requires a lot of trust and gives the person considerable responsibility. It is imperative that you think carefully about who you give this duty to.

Many people choose their spouse or an adult child to give this designation to. This has benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, there is a good chance that this person knows what decisions you'd make for yourself. On the negative side, the loved one will be forced to make difficult decisions at a very stressful time.

Because of the amount of pressure and the circumstances that come with these situations, some people opt to select a health care agent who isn't related to them. This might be a close friend who is able to handle the duties.

When you are trying to decide who to name in the power of attorney for this health care document, you need to think about how willing and able the person will be to stand up for your wishes. There are times when this might mean going against a medical provider's wishes in an effort to get you what you would have wanted. It can involve court hearings in some cases.

You need to pick someone who is strong enough to do what needs to be done and who can make decisions without thinking of his or her own wishes. This can be a difficult task, but you might rest easier knowing that you have this plan in place if you become incapacitated.

Source: FindLaw, "Selecting Your Health Care Agent," accessed May 18, 2018

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