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Loved ones may play a role in health care planning

When asked to take on an important role, many Massachusetts residents feel honored. This feeling of honor may especially be present if a loved one asks an individual to play a vital part in making important decisions on his or her behalf. Often, people will appoint family members to make such choices as part of their health care planning.

Typically, individuals use power of attorney documents to give loved ones the authority to act in the event of incapacitation. In particular, parties may choose someone to make medical-related decisions for them. Being a health care power of attorney agent is an important position, and agents need to feel ready to make critical decisions if the time comes. Preparing ahead of time is often helpful.

One of the best ways to prepare to take on this role is to talk to the loved one about his or her wishes. This information can go a long way in helping an agent feel comfortable making such decisions. Additionally, the agent may want to obtain a copy of the power of attorney document because it could contain more information needed to effectively carry out duties. When the time comes to make these choices, agents may do well to talk with medical professionals and gain as much information as needed to make informed decisions.

Being a power of attorney agent comes with a great deal of responsibility. When loved ones are health care planning, potential agents may want to sit down and discuss their loved ones' wishes. It may also be beneficial to discuss how agents are appointed and what their duties will be with Massachusetts estate planning attorneys who could provide useful information.

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