Estate planning is only partially about what happens to all your worldly possessions once you are gone. It’s also about preparing for a future in which you may not be able to manage your own affairs due to illness or some other form of incapacity.
In Oklahoma, you have the right to create an advance directive for health care, within which you can designate someone you trust to be your health care proxy.
Before you make your selection, however, here are a few things you and your potential candidate should discuss:
How comfortable are they with your choices?
If you believe in quality over quantity of life but your health care proxy feels the opposite (or the converse is true), that could present a problem. You don’t want to put anybody in the position of having to take a position that is contrary to their moral or religious beliefs.
How comfortable are they dealing with medical professionals?
Your health care proxy should have at least a passing familiarity with health care terminology and the health care system. They should also be reasonably comfortable asking questions of doctors and nurses and advocating for the care that they think that you need. If they tend to get easily cowed by authority figures, they may not be the right person for the job.
How comfortable are they opposing your other family members?
Grief and fear can make people react in unexpected ways. Some of your family members may attempt to take control of the situation if you aren’t able to speak for yourself. If their wishes are different than yours, you need someone who isn’t afraid to assert their authority – even if it makes someone else in the family unhappy.
Your estate plan should be carefully crafted to fit your unique needs. This is just one of the many aspects of estate planning that can benefit from legal guidance.