Life is extremely unpredictable and anything can happen at any time. If you have spent years of your life building up a business or working hard to take care of your family, then you want to make sure the right decisions are made on your behalf if something were to happen to you. If you have strong religious beliefs, then you want those beliefs followed if you are ever injured. A power of attorney will make sure that your financial dealings are handled by someone that you choose. A health proxy will make sure that your medical situation is handled in the way that is in line with your wants and beliefs.
A health proxy is an assignment you make to the person or persons you want making decisions on your behalf regarding any medical treatment you may need. The proxy only goes into effect if you are unable to make decisions for yourself, and it only covers medical decisions. A health proxy cannot make any financial decisions or any lifestyle decisions as those decisions are covered by the power of attorney.
You can designate any person you want to be your health proxy. It does not need to be an immediate family member or even part of your extended family. As long as you sign the health proxy naming your person of choice, that person will be the one making medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.
Whenever you fail to make arrangements to have people in place to legally make decisions for you, the laws of your state take precedent. If you do not have a health proxy, then the state will decide what kind of care you will get and what will happen to you if you pass away.
Once you reach the age of 21, you should set up your health proxy. Many people make the mistake of thinking that because they are healthy they do not need a health proxy. Accidents happen and so do sudden and devastating medical events. The moment you set out to make your way in the world, you should have a health proxy in place to help out in case something were to happen.
You should review your proxy every one or two years to make sure you are still comfortable with who you have designated to make decisions for you. If you want to make changes to your health proxy, contact your attorney immediately to get those changes finalized.
When people are in excellent health, they tend to take that for granted. If something were to happen to make you unable to speak for yourself, then you would be at the mercy of a state medical system that is not going to take your personal requests into account. You must have a health proxy in place at all times to make sure that you get the type of medical care you want when you are unable to speak for yourself.