Health Care Proxy

A comprehensive estate plan should serve your needs during your lifetime and protect your family’s interests in the future. That plan should include a Health Care Proxy.

A Health Care Proxy is a document that can help ensure your medical needs are met if you ever become incapacitated because of an accident or illness. With a Health Care Proxy, you appoint someone to make healthcare decisions and authorize treatment on your behalf.

The team at Jordan & White, LLC prepares Health Care Proxy documents tailored to our client’s specifications to enable them to receive the care they need and want if an emergency arises.

How a Health Care Proxy Works

In a Health Care Proxy document, you appoint a family member or friend to serve as your Health Care Agent. If you ever become unable to make or communicate decisions to doctors, then your agent is authorized to make decisions for you. Your agent would be able to consent to surgery, medical tests, blood transfusions, and other procedures and treatments.

When you authorize a Health Care Agent, your agent will gain the legal right to receive all information necessary to make informed decisions for you. This includes access to confidential information.

Your Health Care Agent does not get authority to act until a doctor determines that you are unable to make decisions on your own. You should ensure that your Health Care Agent understands your wishes for life-saving treatment such as CPR as well as sustaining treatment with respirators and tube feeding.

Changing and Revoking a Health Care Proxy

While you are mentally competent, you can revoke your Health Care Proxy by:

  • Notifying your health care provider or agent that you want to withdraw the document
  • Destroying the document or crossing out language
  • Creating and signing a new Health Care Proxy
  • Divorcing or legally separating from a spouse named as your Health Care Agent

Since divorce automatically revokes your Health Care Proxy, it is a good idea to review your estate plan after a divorce to update this and other critical documents so that they serve your interests in the future.

You Can Give Your Agent a Personal Directive

Unlike many other states, Massachusetts does not recognize a living will as a legally binding document. However, you can still create one to inform your loved ones and your Health Care Agent about your specific wishes for receiving or withholding particular forms of treatment. In Massachusetts, this form is referred to as a Personal Directive.

At Jordan & White, we can work with you to prepare a Personal Directive that reflects your precise wishes for future medical care. This document supplies guidelines for providers as well as your Health Care Agent.

Make Sure Your Estate Plan Provides Full Protection by Including a Health Care Proxy

A thorough estate plan covers more than your property. Your plan should also provide for health care needs. Authorizing a loved one to make medical decisions on your behalf can speed up treatment and reduce uncertainty for the family. To talk to the team at Jordan & White about preparing a Health Care Proxy tailored to your needs, give us a call or reach out online.