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3 skills every medical power of attorney should have

Nov 25, 2019 | Firm News

Aging can be scary. After all, even if you have had a generally healthy life, your golden years may bring a variety of medical hardships. You may even have to plan for long-term care. Unfortunately, for a few reasons, you may eventually lose the ability to make your own medical decisions. 

You do not have to leave your health care wishes to chance. On the contrary, Florida law allows you to name a medical power of attorney to manage your health care decisions if you become incapacitated. While you can designate virtually anyone as your agent, effective ones usually share some common skills. Here are three of them: 

1. Communication

You want to be able to discuss sensitive matters with your medical power of attorney. Your agent may also need to talk about your health care with doctors, family members and others. Accordingly, having good communication skills is often essential. To minimize confusion, you also may want to draft a living will. 

2. Respect

A primary purpose of naming a medical power of attorney is ensuring health care professionals and others carry out your most recent desires regarding medical care. While your agent may not understand your wishes, he or she should respect them. 

3. Advocacy

Chances are good that not all your doctors, friends, family members, religious leaders and others will agree with your health care goals. While your agent may not have to build consensus, he or she must be able to advocate for what you want. This is true even if doing so makes some people in your life uncomfortable or unhappy. 

As you age, you are likely to face a few medical problems. Eventually, you may become incapable of making your own health care decisions. If you want to maintain a level of control over what happens to you, you may want to designate a medical power of attorney. By looking at the skill set of all potential agents, you can choose the right one.