Naming a Health Care Proxy or Living Will Agent

Naming a Health Care Proxy or Living Will Agent

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

Who to Name as Health Care Agent


Money Matters Radio – Estate Planning Checklist

By: Martin M. Shenkman, Esq.



Introduction/Overview: Who do you name as agent to make health care decisions? How to you make the choice? Too many people name a spouse/partner then kids in age order. Is this optimal?


Consider the following items?


Name Successive not Co Agents: Two may not be valid and joint agents may never make a decision.

Religion: What views do you have? What views do the agents have? Will they respect your views? Will they understand your views?

Known Health Issues: If you have known health issues or a known family history will the agent understand the implications? Will someone else understand better? Can the agent be informed/educated?

Geographic Convenience: We all live on blackberries, email and Skype but can someone across the country or across the globe really make these types of decisions? Even if they can how will the sign documents and discuss matters with your health care providers?

Emotional Temperament: Does the person you wish to name have the emotional temperament for making tough life decisions?

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