Can I Select Someone Other Than My Spouse To Make Health Care Decisions for Me?

You are not required to name your spouse as your agent in your power of attorney.  You may choose another family member such as your children or parents, or someone completely unrelated to you, such as a close friend.

Keep in mind, however, that the person you select as your will have the power to make a broad range of decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. These decisions can include consenting or refusing to consent to medical treatment, or withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment.

That’s why it’s important that you select someone who has knowledge of your wishes, including your religious and moral beliefs, and who you implicitly trust to act according to your wishes or best interest if the need arises.

Although you are not required to choose your spouse or another family member as your agent, most people do since these are the people most likely to know your wishes and act in your best interest.

Leave a Comment

If you would like to add your perspective to this post or have a general question, please leave a comment. However, if you have a fact-specific legal question, please email me, or communicate with me through my secure client area. To do so, simply login if you are an existing client, or request an introductory conference if you are interested in becoming a new client.