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The Importance of a Health Care Proxy

 Posted on March 15, 2013 in Estate Planning

Most people do not like to consider decisions that may need to be made later on in life when in comes to the failing health of themselves or even a loved one. This apprehension sometimes leads to the actual avoidance of any advanced planning. A report in the South Coast Today stresses the necessity of having a health care proxy in place.

One of the things that can be especially frustrating is when a doctor does not agree to follow the patient's wishes. One instance of this kind of thing taking place is when invoking a health care proxy. A health care proxy is a process that designates a person to make decisions that are medical in nature when the patient is no longer able to do so. The patient being cared for has to be deemed incompetent by the heath care professional before the proxy can be invoked.

Deeming whether or not someone incompetent is especially difficult when the person is still awake and somewhat coherent. When a doctor does not agree that the patient is incompetent, what options does the family have? There are several options that can be exercised before going straight for the legal option. One option is to ask the patient if it is okay for the family to take part in medical discussions with the staff. This, of course, should be done in the presence of the attending physician or other legal personnel. The other option is to have a HIPPA release signed. While this does not give the family the right to take part in medical decisions, it will assist the family in keeping up to date and informed with everything that is going on.

Dealing with the failing health of a loved one can be a very emotional and difficult time. However it is a fact that many of us cannot avoid. In order to make sure that all of your wishes are carried out, you will want to consult with an experienced and empathetic Illinois estate planning attorney.

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