What is a Health Care Directive? - Kierman Law

What is a Health Care Directive?

It’s a legal document that is commonly part of an estate plan. It can include instructions from you to your future medical providers, but may also be called, or include, a health care power of attorney. It typically involves the appointment of a health care agent.

Who Should I Look for in an Agent?

You are not required to name any particular person as your agent, however they do need to be at least 18 years of age. Most married couples name each other as agent, along with a successor. However, that is not a requirement.

Your agent needs to be someone who will follow the wishes you have set out in your health care directive and act in your best interests at all times. And you need an agent who is willing to act on your behalf on an as-needed basis.

Some people are not eligible to serve as your agent unless they are related to you by blood, marriage, registered domestic partnership, or adoption. So, do not appoint health care providers caring for you on the day the health directive was signed or the date the agent needs to make decisions for you.

This restriction can be bypassed. You can include specific language in your health care directive allowing the people noted above to serve as agent.

I can discuss your options with you while helping you develop a complete estate plan. Contact my office at (480) 719-7333.