What is a health care proxy?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Perhaps you have a solid estate plan and have everything in place for what you want to happen after your death. While that is wonderful, you also should have a plan for what to do if you end up incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. You can add a range of documents to your estate plan to handle such a situation. 

One option is a health care proxy, which the Florida Statutes explains provides someone with the right to make medical decisions for you when you cannot make your own decisions. This would help if you were to go into a coma or suffer a head injury that impacted your abilities. It could also be handy if you suffer from a disease such as Alzheimer’s. 

Power of a proxy 

Your health care proxy should make decisions that you would make if you could. When it comes to specific situations, the proxy needs to consider what you would do and make decisions accordingly. If it is a situation you have never expressed your feelings on, the person needs to do what is in your most favorable interests. 

It is especially important that your proxy follows your feelings when it comes to removing or ending life-preserving methods of care. He or she may have to supply evidence that this is what you want in such a case. 

Who can be a proxy? 

Obviously, you want your health care proxy to be someone you trust and who will make good decisions for you. You give this person a lot of control in this position, so the individual should be someone close to you or someone acting with legal authority to look out for your interests. 

Top choices for a proxy include close family members, such as your parents, siblings, children and spouse. You may also choose a close friend or another family member to whom you are close. You may also select someone not related to you or with whom you have no personal relationship, such as a court-appointed guardian or social worker.