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4 steps to take when naming a medical power of attorney

If you are healthy, thinking about end-of-life care may not be high on your priority list. Nonetheless, a serious injury or sudden illness may render you incapable of making your own medical decisions. If you cannot advocate for your own care, though, you do not have to surrender control. 

Ohio law allows you to write an advance directive that outlines your end-of-life care. It also allows you to name a medical power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf. Of course, you must be careful to designate the right individual for the job. Here are four steps to take when naming your medical power of attorney: 

1. Talk 

Before designating a medical power of attorney, you must have a few different conversations. For example, you must talk with the person you are thinking about designating to be sure that he or she understands your wishes and is comfortable advocating for them. You should also speak with health care professionals to ensure that your decisions are both possible and feasible. 

2. Share 

During the final weeks of your life, you do not want your friends and family members to bicker over your end-of-life treatments. Accordingly, you should share your wishes with those closest to you, including your doctor and spiritual advisor. 

3. Document 

Even if everyone close to you knows about your wishes, you want to minimize potential conflict. As such, document your decisions by complying with Ohio law. As part of your overall estate plan, formalize an advance directive and officially designate your medical power of attorney. 

4. Revisit 

Finally, you should realize that your views may change over time. Therefore, you should periodically revisit your advance directive and other planning documents to be certain that they continue to reflect your desires and values. If they do not, you should update your plan as quickly as possible. 

Naming a medical power of attorney is often an effective way to ensure that you receive the sort of end-of-life care you want. Still, you should not take the process lightly. By working through a few steps, you can make sure that your friends, family members, medical professionals and others honor your wishes.