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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
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What is a health care power of attorney?

When people are planning their estates, questions surrounding what they want to happen during their final days come up. Even if those questions don't come up, it is still a good idea to decide what your wishes are so you can let your loved ones know. An important aspect of making choices for your final days is deciding who your health care agent is going to be. Our New Jersey readers might find the answers to these two common questions about a health care power of attorney interesting.

Who should I choose for my health care agent?

That is a truly personal decision. There are some basic considerations for you to keep in mind as you decide. First, you should only name one health care agent. As tempting as it is to name more than just one so you can be sure someone is around to assert your rights, there is a chance that having more than one health care agent might cause disagreements. Second, make sure your health care agent isn't a medical professional or someone who works for a hospital because the issue of conflict of interest might come up if he or she make choices for your care.

What are some attributes a health care agent needs?

A health care agent must be willing and able to protect your rights and wishes, so you should choose someone who is assertive. Someone who tends to just go along with the wishes of others likely wouldn't make a good health care agent because he or she might bend to the wishes of others and bypass your wishes. The person should live close to you or be ready to come to your side when you need him or her. It should also be someone who is likely to outlive you.

Every situation is different, so you must think carefully about what you want in your final days. You should also think about who will be willing to make decisions based on your wishes. Above all, you should make sure that the paperwork regarding your health care agent is legal and valid.

Source: FindLaw, "Selecting Your Health Care Agent" Nov. 18, 2014

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