Health Care Proxy Definition
A health care proxy is a legal document that allows a person to appoint someone to make health care decisions for them in the event that they become incapacitated. The person appointed to make these health care decisions, known as an agent, can be given broad ability to make almost any health care decision, or their authority can be limited if the document specifically lists the types of decisions they can make.
How a Health Care Proxy Works
If a person becomes incapacitated without having a health care proxy in place, a Guardian may be appointed by the Court to make health care decisions. Different family members can petition the Court to try and be appointed Guardian. A Court-appointed Guardian may not be as closely aligned with the incapacitated party’s health care desires as someone that could have been officially appointed as an agent through a health care proxy.
This shows the importance of having a health care proxy (also known as a "health proxy") in place before it becomes necessary.
How an Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help Navigate a Health Care Proxy
Few people ever anticipate becoming incapacitated, but when it does happen, having the proper legal protections in place that allow an agent of your choosing to make health care decisions for you can quite literally save your life. The financial and medical consequences of leaving these decisions to a Court-appointed Guardian can be severe. Do not delay, and do not leave things up to chance - connect with an MCV Law Estate Planning lawyer to learn just how practical, and affordable, your customized health care proxy can be.