When you’re making an estate plan, you’ll be asked to name several fiduciaries. Fiduciaries are people or institutions who’ll act on your behalf in certain cases. One of the most important fiduciaries you need to name is your Healthcare Agent or Healthcare Surrogate.
You’ll name this fiduciary in your Advance Medical Directive, which is also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney or Medical Power of Attorney.
It’s always a wise decision to name a primary Healthcare Agent and a secondary Healthcare Agent. This is helpful if the first person you have named is not available to take on the responsibility for some reason.
Your Healthcare Agent is the person who makes all medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to do so yourself. You’ll want to discuss with your attorney how to choose a Healthcare Agent. Here are some basic points to keep in mind when choosing this fiduciary:
- In Ohio, your Healthcare agent cannot be your attending physician, an institution or an employee or agent of a health care faciilty and has to be an individual adult.
- He or she should reside in the same State as you or even in the same city so he or she is easy to reach particularly in cases of emergency. He or she should easily be accessible by phone and available at a short notice.
- It is important that your Healthcare agent has the same religious beliefs as you so that there are no problems about major decisions. He or she should be aware of your likes and views on particular aspects of medical treatment and decisions. He or she should also be loyal and sincere enough to keep your views in mind before making any decision.