You never know when a car crash or an aneurysm could leave you unconscious and vulnerable. When you are left unconscious for an extended period or when your health concerns affect your mental capacity, you may need someone else to serve as your advocate.
In Oklahoma, you can name someone as your health care proxy in official paperwork to make decisions on your behalf. How do you decide the right person to fill that important role?
You need someone you can trust
The most important consideration when choosing a health care proxy is whether or not you trust the other person. You need someone who will act in your best interests and follow through with your previously stated medical wishes.
Of course, their authority will depend on your advanced directives, so you can leave very clear instructions about your preferences. The more information you provide about your medical wishes in writing now, the easier it will be for people to comply with those wishes in a stressful situation.
Although your spouse or your children may be the people you trust the most, it could be emotionally distressing to have to make difficult medical decisions for someone you love as much as a parent or a spouse.
You might choose a cousin that you trust who is younger than you or a friend that you know would follow your wishes in an emergency. Some people will even name a secondary person in case their first choice is unavailable or simultaneously rendered incapacitated.
Taking the time now to choose a healthcare proxy as part of your comprehensive estate plan will protect you when you are at your most vulnerable.