One of the people you’ll need to name in your estate plan is a health care power of attorney. Some refer to them as health care agents.
This person will speak on your behalf if you cannot express your wishes about medical treatment due to incapacity caused by severe illness or injury. If you have a friend or relative who is a medical professional, you might assume that you need to nominate them, but you don’t.
The medical team treating you should be able to explain the options to your representative in relatively straightforward terms. The job of your power of attorney is to use that information to make the choices you would want. Therefore, they do not necessarily have to have a medical background to perform their duties effectively as a healthcare power of attorney.
Trust is the most crucial factor
You need someone whom you can trust to act in your best interests. How you define that is difficult. Your surgeon sister might know that performing an organ transplant will give you the best chance of survival. Yet, if accepting someone else’s organs into your body would violate your personal or religious beliefs, maybe it’s not in your best interests to name her as your agent.
As you can see, serving as a health care power of attorney is a massive responsibility, and they may face staunch opposition to their decisions from other family members. You’ll need someone who can deal with all of that. If you are unsure of who to name, seek legal guidance for personalized insight.