How to choose a healthcare proxy in New York

Know what specific qualities to look for when deciding on the healthcare proxy listed during your New York estate planning.

As you are planning your estate in the state of New York, you have to get an idea of the full picture, meaning that you have to think about who will make decisions for you when you are unable to. Part of estate planning is deciding on a healthcare proxy who will carry out your wishes when you are physically or verbally incapable of doing so on your own. Here are a few tips for deciding on just who that should be:

Someone who knows you well

Not only should your healthcare proxy know you, she or he should know you well. Even though your estate or will might specifically lay out your wishes if you were to become medically or mentally incapacitated, your proxy should still have a solid idea of your desires for, say, a situation in which you were to need a feeding tube.

Someone who knows how to keep calm in a crisis

Medical emergencies are rarely a sunny walk in the park. Your proxy will need to know how to keep a cool head in times of crisis to make the best decisions for you and potentially help keep those closest to you from giving in to hysterics themselves.

Someone who will ask questions

While medical professionals are trained to take the best care of patients, you want a healthcare proxy who will ask questions regarding treatment, medication, prescriptions and the like. Something that might seem like the best option on the outside could have what you perceive to be negative repercussions or an undesirable outcome. Your proxy needs to know how to consider every possibility and the end results of those possibilities.

Someone who can make decisions for you even if her or his opinions are different from yours

Know that you do not have to choose a proxy whom you see eye to eye with on everything. This person should adhere to your desires even if he or she does not agree with those desires for whatever reason. When thinking about your proxy, ask if that person's religion, ethics, lifestyle or the like could interfere with her or his ability to act as your advocate.

Someone who adapts to change well

Your situation might change for the better or for the worse before you are able to make decisions about your health on your own again. No matter your condition, your proxy should be someone who can roll with the punches and keep moving forward.

It makes no difference how great your physical health is in New York, there are no guarantees that you will always be in a condition to make medical decisions about your care. Talk to an attorney about what else you need to know about selecting a healthcare proxy.